Cheerleading Wins Big at NCA Summer Camp


Photo by Curtis Finneman

Utah Valley University’s cheerleading team attended the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) s­ummer camp and came home with multiple wins and seven All-Americans.

The three-day camp, held at the Westgate Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, provided a mixture of competition and classes to prepare collegiate cheer teams across the nation for the upcoming school year.

“This camp helped us kick off our season,” said Ashley Hardison, coordinator of the UVU Spirit Squad. “We were able to build teamwork by participating in multiple training classes as well as competing for a bid to nationals.”

The team participated in multiple workshop sessions including conditioning, group stunt, partner stunt, pyramids, and motions/routines. When it came time to compete against the other collegiate teams, UVU’s new skills helped them place:

  • 1st in Rally Routine
  • 1st in Crowd Segments in Small Coed
  • 2nd Overall
  • 1st in all-girl top gun competition

Along with placing in specific categories, the UVU cheer team also received a gold bid to NCA Nationals. This highest bid provides the team with five free hotel rooms, reduced registration fees, and priority on hotel assignment and preliminary competition lineup.

The team’s high placement was due to the talent and dedication of each individual cheerleader. NCA took note of this, and seven UVU cheerleaders received the title of All-American. To be considered for All-American status, an athlete must showcase a mastery of jumps, tumbling, and stunting. UVU’s new All-Americans include:

  • Brett Kessler
  • Keaten Mickelsen
  • Jennifer Richey
  • Braylee Huff
  • Samantha Pennington
  • Sadie Watts
  • Brooklyn Hess

“We are so proud of the work that the team put in throughout the week,” said Hardison. “Our program is growing and becoming such an incredible place for our athletes. We made our time count at NCA Camp, and it is great to represent our university in such a positive way.”