Tennessee Cheer Wins Third National Championship

tennessee cheer
Photo by UT Sports

ORLANDO, Fla. January 12, 2024 – Tennessee’s cheer team has put Rocky Top on the top of the collegiate cheer world – again.

For the third time in five years, Tennessee Cheer won the Division 1A Game Day National Championship on Friday night at the Universal Cheer Association College Cheerleading National Championship at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando. The University of South Florida, the defending champion of the traditional routine division, came in second with the University of Central Florida, Minnesota and Memphis rounding out the top five.

The Game Day division is a relatively new category at the competition and scores teams based on live, in-game scenarios including a fight song routine, a timeout performance and a situational cheer. Since the division’s inception in 2018, Tennessee has been dominant, claiming three titles and placing second twice.

For cheer coach Chelsea Bowlin, competitive success comes as a result of what Tennessee Cheer does at every game in Neyland Stadium.

“Our goal is to take them to Neyland,” Bowlin said, referring to the experience she and the team set out to provide to fans and judges at the competition. “We work week in and week out to bring the best fan experience we can at every game. So, when it comes time to bring it to the competition floor, we just continue doing what we’ve been doing all year.”

Friday’s success comes on the first of three days of competition for the Tennessee Spirit program. Smokey competes on Saturday in mascot finals where every Tennessee fan’s favorite mascot enters the competition ranked number one in the nation. The cheer team will compete again in traditional routine semi-finals with a chance to earn a spot in the finals on Sunday. Tennessee Dance also competes on Saturday in Division 1A jazz and pom divisions, seeking to advance to each category’s final round on Sunday.

Tennessee Spirit is one of the most decorated spirit programs in the nation, owning a combined 13 national championships between the cheer, dance and mascot teams.

Source: UT Sports
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