January 17, 2022

Dance Team Claims Three Titles at UDA National Championship


COLUMBUS, OhioOhio State traveled to Orlando this past weekend for the UDA Collegiate National Championship and is coming home with a suitcase full of national championships.

The Buckeyes won titles in all three events that they competed in, taking top honors in the pom, jazz and game day finals. No other team has ever won all three divisions, let alone in the same year. It also continues a championship-winning tend: In each of the last five years, Ohio State has won at least one title at nationals. Here’s the full rundown:

  • 2018: First place in jazz and pom
  • 2019: First place in pom
  • 2020: First place in jazz
  • 2021: First place in jazz and pom
  • 2022: First place in jazz, pom and gameday

That’s nine national championships in the last five years and in 2022 it added the program’s first-ever trifecta. Ohio State’s won jazz titles in each of the last three years and now has its second back to back pom championships since 2018.

“There are so many reasons to be proud of this team and their accomplishments in at nationals,” said head coach Melissa McGhee. “They took on the challenge of adding the GameDay category on top of preparing for Jazz and Pom, and demonstrated the versatility and depth of talent on our team. They created history for our program, put on exceptional performances and did so with grace and professionalism. Their old fashioned hard work and meticulous preparation paid off in a big way and I could not be more proud! I want to thank Gene Smith and Carey Hoyt for their constant support of our program and help to get us where we are today!”

D1A Pom Finals
1. Ohio State – 98.60
2. Minnesota – 97.37
3. Tennessee – 97.11
4. Cincinnati – 96.13
5. Michigan State – 95.31

The Buckeyes were in first place coming out of the semifinal round and stayed on top securing the highest score of the entire competition in the final round performance.

D1A Jazz Finals
1. Ohio State – 96.79
2. Minnesota – 96.13
3. Tennessee – 94.92
4. Texas Tech – 94.33
5. Florida State – 93.66

Ohio State competed against 28 D1A jazz teams and placed second to the University of Minnesota coming out of the semifinals. In the final round of competition, the Buckeyes came out on top securing a three-peat in the jazz division after bringing home the title in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

D1A GameDay
1. Ohio State – 96.45
2. UNLV – 96.25
3. Iowa – 94.23
4. Tennessee – 93.58
5. Temple – 92.88

This category showcases elements that are performed at athletic competitions at home. For Ohio State’s routine, it collaborated with The Ohio State Marching Band’s Drumline and Brutus. The category began in 2018 but this was Ohio State’s first year competing in it. The Buckeyes placed first coming out of the semi-finals and ultimately secured the championship over UNLV who has previously won the category in 2018, 2019, 2020 and virtually in 2021. There were 23 teams in the division.

“Being able to share this experience with the team is something I know I will never forget,” said senior captain Hailey Willis. “The love we share and receive from our alumni, coaches, families and other dance teams across the country is what led us to win three national championships. Every sacrifice and hardship was worth it to represent Ohio State at nationals with the 23 other girls on this team and to get to wear the Block O on our chest. Winning three championships is incredible but being able to share it with this group of people is even more special.

I am so thankful for my four years with this program because it has brought me my best friends and has shown me what it means to be a true Buckeye. I will always remember the feeling of sharing the stage with my team and having those who love me cheering me on. We are so honored to bring back three wins to Columbus and to have represented The Ohio State University.”