By Sidney Lain
Louisiana Tech spirit groups, the Regal Blues and cheerleading teams, are usually seen at sporting events rooting for the Bulldogs and Lady Techsters. This time, it was their turn to be cheered for as they competed at the Universal Cheerleading Association and Universal Dance Association National Championships in Orlando, Florida.
The UCA and UDA are some of the top cheer and dance associations in the world. Teams from all over the United States spend months preparing for the national championships at Walt Disney World. While neither the Regal Blues or cheerleading teams placed in the top three, they gave their all.
Lydia Capritto, a third year Regal Blue, said, “That preparation for this competition is not easy and competing requires having a good mentality, stamina, drive and school pride.”
Along with these physical and mental challenges, preparation takes a lot of time dedication.
“Once football season ended and basketball season began, we began spending time in preparation for the routine,” Ashlyn O’Glee, a third year cheerleader, said. “It wasn’t until the holiday break we really started working at it. We practiced almost every day for the entire break.”
The Regal Blues have competed at UDA competition the past few years in person, but for the cheerleading team, it has been awhile since they took the mat in Florida.
This competition was one of the last performances for many of the veteran cheerleaders.
“For the Louisiana Tech cheer team this competition means stepping back onto a UCA competition floor for the first time in years.” O’Glee said. “We were able to compete virtually last year, but it’s just not the same as being here. For me and many others on our team, it is also the last opportunity we will have to be able to compete in this sport we love and have put so much time into.”
The cheerleaders competed in the 1A large coed game day division. The Regal Blues competed against 23 teams in the game day division and 18 in the hip hop division.
The competition began Friday, Jan. 14 for both teams. Neither team made it to finals for the game day division, but the Regal Blues came in 10th place in the hip hop division.
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