COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State University cheerleading squad placed sixth Sunday night at the 2009 UCA College Cheerleading National Championship at Walt Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.  

The Buckeyes placed higher than any other Big Ten school and finished above other notable schools, including Tennessee, Cincinnati, Oklahoma and Florida State. The Buckeyes waited around until the very end, performing last of the 15 teams who competed in the final round.

“I’m very proud of this team,” head coach Judy Bunting said. “They’ve worked extremely hard and have put forth a great deal of time and energy over the past few months perfecting this routine. We challenged this group with a lot of difficult stunts, tumbling passes and pyramids and we’re very happy with our performance.”

The sixth-place finish is the highest since 2005 when the Buckeyes also placed sixth. The Buckeyes won the national championship in 1993 and placed second in 2001.

The squad consisted of Emily Johnson, Sarah Santarelli, Cassie Benfield, Tara Warrens, Kim Conley, Allison Humbert, Megan Couling, Joshua Springer, Ian Henschen, Brad Obuchowski, Joey Orizczak, Joel McClendon, Nate Wise, Jamal Niles, Gordon Rankin, Stephen Garrett and Billy Ashley.

The University of Kentucky finished first, followed by Alabama and Central Florida.

Final Results
1. University of Kentucky
2. University of Alabama
3. UCF
4. University of Memphis
5. Louisiana State University & University of Kansas
6. The Ohio State University
7. University of Minnesota – Minneapolis
8. University of Tennessee & University of Cincinnati
9. University of Oklahoma
10. Western Kentucky University
11. Mississippi State University
12. University of Mississippi
13. Florida State University