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CBU cheer team still on top

Riverside, Calif. (Aug. 5, 2014) -- The California Baptist University cheerleading team continues to fly high.

At a National Cheerleaders Association/USA camp in July, the team once again earned a gold bid in its pursuit of a third straight NCA Championship in 2015. It also earned a gold bid to the 2015 USA College Championships. The team again took first place as camp champions – Best All Around, with a score of 203; second-place Weber State University had 183 points. The team also took first place in the Game Day Run Off, which included Division I coed teams, won the Top Gun Stunt Winner for the second year in a row and eight cheerleaders were named All-American.

“This is a great start to the 2014-2015 season,” head coach Tami Fleming said. “Our seasoned veterans paired with our talented rookie class have proven, once again, that CBU cheer plans to stay on top. The hard work, dedication and skill of this new team is unmatched and I look forward to a great year with these athletes.”

The results mean the cheer team can pursue another NCA title, after winning their second in April and being undefeated for the past two seasons.

“When they won, it was very cool. It was very validating,” Fleming said of the NCA win in April. “It made it feel like the first win wasn’t just a fluke. We weren’t just lucky to be the best team in the nation. We very clearly are the best team in the nation.

Becoming a national team takes a lot of work. Practice is usually 2-2.5 hours daily Monday through Thursday, September through April. When it’s competition time, that can increase. The practices sometimes begin with a mile run with weights. And that’s just the warm-up.

Sophomore Mara Gates said all the hard work was worth it.

“The team work and the team ethics that we had was really cool to watch,” she said. “As we developed from summertime to being this well-oiled machine by the end of the year, it was really cool to watch and be a part of.”

The first year Fleming and assistant cheer coach Jason Larkins took over as coaches, the team came up with the motto “Passion, God, Success.”

“We really try to ingrain in them, be passionate about what you do, let God be the center of all of it and success will come,” Fleming said. “And it may not always be a first-place finish, it may come in another form. But they push to be successful, and so I think that team motto has just carried them through a lot of stuff.”

The team will again push to be successful this season.

“Nobody in the history of the division has ever won it three years in a row,” Fleming said. “So obviously our goal is to win it a third year and make history.”