Feb. 21, 2013
Georgia Tech finished in second place at Cheersport, the nation's largest cheerleading competition, Feb. 15-16 at Atlanta's World Congress Center.
The Yellow Jackets got an opportunity to compete close to home against some of the best teams in the nation, and at the only convention center on the East Coast big enough to host the Cheersport Nationals. For 2013, Cheersport used five arenas for the competition floors, plus an additional five-acre space for warm-ups. Some 980 teams from across the U.S. and Canada attended,including the University of Kentucky, University of Maryland, Michigan State and Kennesaw State.
"It was great to have our cheerleaders up against the nation's best," head coach Katie Hodges said. "When the College 6 teams compete, everyone crowds the arena. It's standing-room only, with people standing on chairs to catch a glimpse of the athletes."
Cheersport had over 21,000 competitors across six levels and 65,000 spectators. Divisions were divided based on age group and level of difficulty. Georgia Tech competed at the highest level, College 6, finishing second with a score of 92.67 out of 100, behind Kentucky.
Tech had been away from competitive cheerleading for five years, and Hodges was happy about the return performance.
"Our fans have a chance to see what we train for all year long. There is a lot more to our cheerleaders and dancers than football and basketball games. The athletes continuously train and practice three-to-four days a week from June through the beginning of May each year."
Georgia Tech Cheerleading will be hosting tryouts May 4-5, and hopes to return to NCA College Nationals in Daytona (Fla.) each April in the small coed division. For now, Hodges says that this past weekend was a big accomplishment.
"Competitive cheerleading is a difficult sport that requires patience and slow progression. And Tech is back in the game."