COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University spirit program returned from UCA/UDA College Camp in Milwaukee, Wis., winning top honors in cheer, dance and mascot divisions. The Buckeyes attended the four-day camp competing against top national contenders Kentucky, Arkansas, Kansas, Western Kentucky, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan State, Indiana and other schools representing the Big Ten Conference. 

The camp is an opportunity for college cheerleaders, dancers and mascots to earn safety certification, learn cheer and dance material, create new game day action plans, build on existing traditions and focus on leadership skills necessary to be better crowd leaders and dancers at their schools.

Returning to the camp after an eight year hiatus, the cheerleaders made a strong statement, edging out the 18-time national champion University of Kentucky in two of the three competition categories.  The Buckeyes knocked off the Wildcats in the sideline and fight song contests and claimed second in the cheer category. Other honors the Buckeye cheerleaders received:  Game Recognition, Newcomer of the Year (staff votes) and the prestigious Camp Leadership Award,  voted by the attending coaches and teammates as the program deemed  the college cheerleading “role model.”

Recently joining the spirit program under athletics, the dance team also attended camp. Prior to the dance team joining the spirit program they had made a name for themselves at UDA Nationals. The Buckeyes placed 7th in pom and 10th in the jazz category last year, in their first appearance since 1999. The team continued their supremacy at the UDA camp, winning the Program Improvement, Collegiate Recognition awards, Superior Fight Song and Overall Superior for their routines. 

“I am extremely proud,” said Trisha McCarthy, head coach of the dance team. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of dancers this past weekend. With 10 new members, their collegiate presence, dedication, commitment and hard work truly paid off. Having the cheerleaders, Brutus and the dancers together at camp allowed all three teams to showcase their amazing talent at a much larger aspect and I am beyond ecstatic about our upcoming season here at Ohio State!”

One of the greatest mascots on the collegiate circuit, Brutus Buckeye competed for top honors against 23 other mascots from 18 different universities. Mascots in attendance at camp, include national competitors  University of Minnesota “Goldy Gopher,” University of Kentucky “Wildcat,” University of Wisconsin-Madison “Bucky Badger,” Michigan State University “Sparty,” University of Iowa “Herky the Hawk,” University of Kansas “Big Jay,” and the reigning national champion, University of Colorado-Boulder “Chip.”  Having never competed in the nationals circuit, Brutus placed fifth overall at the college mascot camp and earned a superior mascot rating.

“I am extremely overjoyed with the results and  performances of all of our athletes,” said Lenee Buchman, director of the spirit program.  “We had a wonderful experience at camp and it was a great opportunity for our kids to grow as individuals and bond together as a team.  For Ohio State to return and take top honors speaks highly of the athletes’ pride, hard work and enthusiasm they have for this program.” 

“Attending the College Spirit Camp allows the teams and mascots to kick off a season in the right direction,” stated Dana Bumbrey, assistant cheerleading coach. “With the successes the Buckeyes had at camp and their continued hard work we can only expect to see an increased effectiveness in leading Buckeye Nation.”