ORLANDO - The Ohio State dance team completed their seasons of "firsts" by bringing home their first ever National Championship from the UDA Collegiate National Championship this past Sunday.
In fact, they won two!
In August, the team took a trip to Wisconsin to compete in the pre-season Home Routine competition at UDA Collegiate Camp. In the field of 12, the Buckeyes placed 1st over perennial powerhouse University of Minnesota for the first time in the history of the program. Head coach Melissa McGhee recalls the event, "This really set the tone for our season. We wanted to perform a routine that felt very genuine to who we are as a team and placed equal value on movement and technique." Patrick Carmichael and Lauren Burns round out the coaching staff for the dance team.
On the final day of competition, the Buckeyes had quite the feat ahead of them. The University of Minnesota and University of Tennessee have dominated the jazz category since 2002 and no team other than the University of Minnesota had won the pom category since its inception in 2009. "We have so much respect for our competitors and we knew this year was going to be just as challenging given the difficulty and level of execution that we saw in Day 1," said McGhee. After two phenomenal performances in the final round of competition the task was within reach and it came down to the judging panel.
On Sunday Night, at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida, the HP Field House erupted as the Buckeyes were announced 1st for the Jazz Category. Shortly thereafter, it was declared that they had also placed 1st for the Pom Category securing not only the team's first National Championship, but the team's first double title ever.
Coach McGhee on winning her first National Championship:
"Our team is extremely fortunate to have support from, Athletics Director Gene Smith and the entire Athletics Department. He has paved the way for the dance team to be fully integrated into the student athlete experience at Ohio State allowing them the opportunity to compete at the highest level."
My Gameday: Journey Ramey