Salisbury University’s cheerleading team traveled to Daytona Beach, Florida, for the National Cheer Association (NCA) National competition April 6-7, following up last year's historic third-place win.
Head Coach Kristen Morris said the team trained to earn the maximum number of points.
"Before we left, we practiced six days straight and also tried to simulate the warmup and competition process so their bodies could develop the muscle memory to perform the same routine over and over again with each time having less mistakes and more stamina," she said.
The Golden Gulls won first place out of 12 teams competing in the Intermediate All Girls Division III group. With no deductions the first day and only one on day two, the team ended with a raw score of 85.8 out of 90, securing first place for the first time in program history.
"The feeling is incomparable to anything else," Morris said. "I have wanted this win before I was even coaching."
Morris competed twice as an SU athlete but never fulfilled her dream of winning – until she decided to coach.
"I promised myself that I would continue to coach until I brought home the gold."
The team marked the win with a traditional celebratory run to the ocean.
"It was a surreal moment, like all the years I cheered paid off," graduate student Claire Weston said.
By HAILEY DEARES
Featured image courtesy of @salisburycheer