Raider Red and TTU Pom reign supreme at national championships

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — It was a successful weekend for Texas Tech spirit squads in the 2021 NCA & NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championships held in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Tech Pom and Raider Red both claimed first place titles, while the Tech coed cheer team came in a close second to Oklahoma State University.

With this year marking the first time the mascot category was held, it was an exciting first win for Raider Red.

“This is going to be the 50th birthday for Raider Red,” said Brandt Schneider, a member of the mascot team. “We’ve had so many members come and go, so it’s exciting to be able to do this for them.”

As for Tech Pom, the squad went on to claim their fifth and sixth national titles after winning both the pom and jazz dance divisions. The team accomplished this double win the first time four years ago when senior Holly Skillings said she was just a freshman.

“It’s nice getting to finish how we stared,” said Skillings. “Our motto this season was ‘whatever it takes,’ and so I really think this team embodied that.”

After the 2020 event was cancelled due to COVID-19, each spirit team worked hard to switch gears and push through all the challenges that appeared when preparing for this years competition.

“We stayed on zoom for a while but they were having to figure out how to dance on grass and carpet,” said Pom Coach, Erin Alvarado. “We were just trying to figure out how to keep up our training.”

Each Red Raider gave this year’s championship event their all and with the successful outcome, many are already looking forward to next year.

“We have so much confidence going into next year,” said Schneider. “We know we’ve got things we have to fix and we got to work on but we are ready to go back better than ever.”

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