DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Oregon stunts and gymnastics team placed third with a score of 9.177 out of 10 at the NCA National Championships on Friday at the Daytona Beach Bandshell. In their first season as a program, the Ducks finished just behind traditional powers Maryland and Louisville, which scored a 9.639 and 9.618, respectively.

“I feel like we really put Oregon on the map today for our sport,” said head coach Felecia Mulkey. “I’m so proud of my team for what they did today, not only for rebounding after we struggled Thursday, but as a brand new team we really did well. I can’t wait to get back at it with this squad next year.”

In just their ninth competition as a program, Oregon jumped all the way up from sixth after prelims to take the bronze. The Ducks improved in every category on the scoresheet. Judges at the National Cheerleaders Association Collegiate National Championships score teams on skill execution (tumbling, stunts, basket tosses, pyramids, jumps and motions/dance), skill difficulty, projection (artistic expression) and choreography.

“We were nearly perfect today,” Mulkey added. “We had some of the most difficult pyramids at the competition and pulled them off flawlessly. The crowd was really behind us.”

After having .5 points taken off their score in prelims, the Ducks had just .1 in deductions today after a fall in their tumbling routine was the only error.

Maryland upset Louisville, last season’s winner, after sitting in second following prelims. Either the Cardinals or the Terrapins have won the last 10 All-Girl 1A division NCA National Championships. Louisville is a club team while Maryland was the first university to add competitive cheer as a varsity sport.

NCA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS FINAL STANDINGS
(All-Girl 1A Division)
1. Maryland - 9.639
2. Louisville - 9.618
3. Oregon - 9.177
4. NC State - 9.068
5. South Carolina - 8.793
6. Georgia - 8.650
7. Michigan State - 8.160
* Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Penn State and Illinois did not advance past prelims on Thursday

(Note: Scores in prelims on Thursday were used to determine which teams advanced to the finals on Friday. The best routine during the finals determined the champion. Scores did not carry over from prelims.