|PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ORLANDO, Fla. (Monday, Jan. 15 2017) – Cheerleaders, dance team members, and mascots at the University of Tennessee are usually on the sideline cheering for the Volunteers’ athletic teams. But this weekend, roles were reversed as these teams earned cheers from fans and judges alike.
Tennessee Cheerleaders perform their 2017 nationals routine.
Tennessee Spirit Teams competed over the weekend at the 2017 Universal Cheerleaders Association and Universal Dance Association College National Championships at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando. All three components of the Tennessee Spirit Program – cheer, dance, and mascots – advanced to the national championship finals and placed top-10 in the nation. Tennessee was one of only four Division 1A universities in the nation to have all three teams advance to finals, one of only three universities to place top-10 in all three categories, and the only member of the SEC to accomplish this feat.
Smokey, a three time national champion mascot, placed eighth in the nation. The dance team, reigning back-to-back national champions and overall five-time national champion, came up just short of their sixth title with a third-place finish. Tennessee’s cheer team rounded out the weekend placing ninth in the nation for the second year in a row.
Tennessee Dance Team awaits the results of their 2017 nationals competition where they placed 3rd in the nation.
“Advancing to the finals for our program is equivalent to the football team or basketball team ending the season ranked in the top-10,” said Tennessee Spirit Program Coordinator and Cheer Coach Joy Postell-Gee. “To have all three of our teams accomplish this feat, and to be one of only three universities to do so with top-10 finishes is truly an honor and testament to the tradition of excellence we are so proud of at the University of Tennessee.”
There will be little time for the Spirit Teams to celebrate their accomplishments as they return to Knoxville to cheer on the Lady Vols tonight at We Back Pat night.
The UT Spirit Program, comprised of the cheer, dance, and mascot teams, is one of the most successful in the nation. Few programs boast the recognition gained by the Volunteers’ squads under Postell-Gee’s 25 years of leadership including three mascot national championships, five dance team national championships, and the cheer team’s perennial top-10 finish at their nationals competition.