Students in A-State’s Spirit Squads Celebrate Record Top Finishes at Nationals

JONESBORO — For the first time in Arkansas State University history, the spirit squads of cheer and dance posted the highest finishes ever at the 40th National Cheerleaders/National Dance Associations College Nationals recently in Daytona, Fla.

Arkansas State’s cheer and dance team is one of the university’s elite level club sports that compete on the national level.

A-State finished second in the advanced small coed D1A division cheer competition, posting a best preliminary score in the program’s history. Marking the first time taking this style to nationals in school history, the Red Wolf dancers were fourth in D1A pom. And, a fifth place in D1A jazz dance competition is the best in school history.

“We are very proud of our performance at NCA/NDA college nationals this season,” said Paige Pauley, director of spirit programs. “We made program history with our three routines and made a huge impact on how we are viewed as a program on the competitive level. We cannot wait to keep working towards nationals in 2022! The support we had was ‘second to none,’ so thank you Red Wolves Nation!”

The NCA/NDA championships were canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic. Collegiate cheer and dance teams have convened in Daytona Beach for the last 25 years to display talent, university traditions and school pride. More than 7,000 athletes competed this year.

Here are the members of the cheerleading squad and the Red Wolf dancers:

A-State Cheerleading

Kavion Alston of Wynne; Claudia Benning of Prattsville; Trevor Blankenship of De Queen; Haley Brewer of Jonesboro; Khaniya Callicutt of Marion; Stacie Chatman of Lee’s Summit, Mo.; Kennedy Combs of Fayetteville; Gracesyn Craig of Jonesboro; Madi Davis of Conway; Apple Dennie of Sherwood; Alli Eblen of Bentonville; Emma Faulkner of Little Rock; Mia Faulkner of Little Rock; Mateo Galicia of Houston, Texas; Preston Hayes of Munford, Tenn.; Kennedi Jackson of Jonesboro; Lily Johnson of Little Rock; Tony Kusema of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Jada Layman of Jonesboro; Maranda Lee of Jonesboro; Sydney Lee of Dyersburg, Tenn.; Ashley Lestina of Bentonville; Shyra Moody of Wynne; Blake Moore of Jonesboro; Grace Ouellette of Bryant; Matthew Rasmussen of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisc.; Reagan Smith of Arlington, Tenn.; Anna Reed of Conway; Baylee Rose of Leachville; Larynn Sisson of Hot Springs; Mattie Taylor of Little Rock; and Hannah Walker of Arlington, Tenn.

Red Wolf Dancers

Peyton Barrow of Rockwall, Texas; Hayley Capps of Sheridan; Peyton Capps of Sheridan; Maggie Carty of Belleville, Ill.; Maria Cissell of Fenton, Mo.; Mollybeth Drew of Jonesboro; Mackenzie Drewry of Mountain Home; Emma Koehler of St. Charles, Mo.; Sydney Koehler of St. Charles, Mo.; Mary Manuel of Jonesboro; Abby Grace Puckett of Little Rock; Ellie Stafford of Jonesboro; Riley Roberts of Jonesboro; Camryn Ross of Little Rock; Olivia Smith of Lepanto; Maggie Turner of Mt. Vernon, Ill.; Janie Williams of Wentzville, Mo.; an Elaine Zadnik of Broadview, Ohio.

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