Three Qualifying Competitions were hosted earlier this month with automatic qualifiers coming out of each event in both cheer and dance. Up to nine at-large teams were invited to the National Invitational based on the final scores achieved in the Qualifying Competition. In order to be eligible for national competition, teams must have followed NAIA eligibility rules and completed a regular season schedule.
Oklahoma City punched a ticket in both the cheer division and the dance division. Midland (Neb.) and Siena Heights (Mich.) join the host school in bringing two teams to the event. Baker (Kan.), Briar Cliff (Iowa), Concordia (Neb.) and Grand View (Iowa) will complete the list of dance teams competing for the title. The cheer division will have a full contingent of competitors with Aquinas (Mich.), Concordia (Mich.), Graceland (Iowa), Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.), Lourdes (Ohio), Martin Methodist (Tenn.), Missouri Baptist, Missouri Valley and St. Gregory's (Okla.) taking the mat.
The NAIA National Invitational will be following a new format this year with one division for competitive cheer and one division for competitive dance. All qualification for the Invitational is based on finish at one of the Qualifying Competitions.
“I’m very proud of how the girls performed in Oklahoma," said head dance coach Lynsey Payne. "OCU has a very strong, talented dance team and are the defending national champions so we knew going into the competition that it would be tough to beat them. After prelims OCU was actually ahead of us but we were able to correct a few mistakes and win in finals. I’m really looking forward to the National Invitational which will feature the best teams in the NAIA.”
Four members of the Baker dance team also earned the distinguished 2014 NAIA All-American honor by competing against the best in its region last weekend. Freshman Kaitlyn Stout, sophomore Erika Mallery, junior Amanda Seeley and senior Maddie Kristoffersen all earned the All-America award.
Tickets for the event are as follows, Adults: $7, Students: $5 and 5 and Under: FREE. Fans can watch the event for a fee of $8.95, by clicking here.
2014 NAIA Competitive Cheer and Dance National Invitational Qualifiers
Cheer Teams Qualification
Aquinas (Mich.) At Large #8
Concordia (Mich.) East Automatic Berth
Graceland (Iowa) At Large #3
Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) At Large #6
Lourdes (Ohio) At Large #7
Martin Methodist (Tenn.) At Large #2
Midland (Neb) North Automatic Berth
Missouri Baptist At Large #9
Missouri Valley At Large #4
Oklahoma City West Automatic Berth
Siena Heights (Mich.) At Large #5
St. Gregory's (Okla.) At Large #1
Dance Teams Qualification
Baker (Kan.) West Automatic Berth
Briar Cliff (Iowa) At Large #4
Concordia (Neb.) At Large #3
Grand View (Iowa) North Automatic Berth
Midland (Neb.) At Large #2
Oklahoma City At Large #1
Siena Heights (Mich.) East Automatic Berth