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Buckeyes reach national championship set for Jan. 17-18 in Orlando
 
COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State cheerleaders qualified for the 2009 College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship at the Walt Disney World Resort Jan. 17-18, 2009. The national championship will be held at Disney’s MGM Studios and Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.
 
Ohio State qualified for the national championship by winning the Northeast Region for the 20th time in the last 22 years, defeating Cincinnati, Penn State and Ohio University.
 
“This squad is very talented and has worked hard to put together a great entry into the competition,” Judy Bunting, Ohio State cheerleading head coach, said. “In addition to continuing to practice for games, they are working on parts of their routine and beginning to put the parts all together for the national competition.”
 
By winning their region, the Buckeyes received an automatic bid to the national competition, as well as free transportation and hotel accommodations. Ohio State joins Kansas (Mid-America Region), Kentucky (South Region) and Oklahoma (West Region) as regional champions. For the second year in a row, the other four at-large bids went to Central Florida, Alabama, LSU and Memphis.
 
Ohio State finished 15th in 2008 after a 14th-place spot at the 2007 national championship. The Buckeyes were 12th in 2006, sixth in 2005, 15th in 2004, seventh in 2003 and sixth in 2002. Ohio State earned a second-place finish in 2001 and placed sixth in 2000. The Buckeyes won the 1993 College Cheerleading National Championship.
 
The national competition will be televised by the ESPN networks and aired at a later date.