COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State cheerleaders once again have qualified for the 2008 College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship at the Walt Disney World Resort, Jan. 20, 2008. 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 19th time in the last 21 years, defeating Penn State, Cincinnati, Ohio University and Syracuse.

“Our squad works very hard to put an entry together and the team is deserving of its regional win,” Judy Bunting, head cheerleading coach, said. “We look forward to the national championship in January and we will have to continue to work hard to develop our routine and execute it well at nationals against some very stiff competition. I think our tumbling is definitely stronger this year and we still are very strong in partner stunting and pyramids.”

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 Minnesota (Mid-America Region), Kentucky (South Region) and Hawaii (West Region) as regional champions. The other four at-large bids went to Central Florida, Alabama, LSU and Memphis.

Ohio State finished 14th at the 2007 national championship and 12th in 2006. The Buckeyes were sixth in 2005 after placing 15th in 2004, seventh in 2003 and sixth in 2002. The Buckeyes earned a second-place finish in 2001 and placed sixth in 2000. Ohio State won the 1993 College Cheerleading National Championship.

The national competition will be televised by the ESPN networks and aired at a later date.