FMU’s Cheer Squad Finishes 8th in the Nation at NAIA National Competition

Florida Memorial University > News and Updates > FMU’s Cheer Squad Finishes 8th in the Nation at NAIA National Competition

YPSILANTI, Mich. – With a final score of 87.95, Florida Memorial had its best finish in program history, earning an eighth-place finish at the 2024 Nfinity NAIA Competitive Cheer National Championship hosted by the Ann Arbor Sports Commission. The 8th annual event concluded Saturday evening inside the George Gervin GameAbove Center on the campus of Eastern Michigan, with St. Ambrose (Iowa) taking home the Red Banner for the second consecutive year.

“It means so much to us to be here at NAIA Nationals,” said FMU Head Cheer Coach Ayana Harris. “This was only our third year competing in the NAIA. In stark contrast, we started off with six cheerleaders on the mat three years ago. We could barely field a team, and it just seemed like an insurmountable task at our very small university. Coming out of COVID, we had between 900-1,000 kids at our university, and it seemed impossible to actually get a competitive team going. I can remember that first year in conference, my athletes were so discouraged, wondering how we would ever look like those teams. So I told them, having the courage to get on the mat with only six of us, is going to be the building blocks for our program at Florida Memorial. The following year we doubled up and had 12 on the mat, and we performed even better. And this year, we had 14 athletes, in which 13 competed due to an injury on the night before, but they’ve gotten out there and realized that they can stand shoulder to shoulder with all of these teams across the country that are putting in work to be counted among the best in the NAIA. So what does it mean to be here? It means everything to us to be here, especially where we started from.”

Finals Performance Highlights

St. Ambrose (Iowa) wins its second straight Red Banner after one runner-up finish and twice in third.

The Bees beat their own record for the highest score in the championship, raising it by 1.77 points.

Xavier (La.) leaped over Oklahoma City to grab second place during their final performance, with the Stars finishing third.

Hometown Concordia (Mich.) and Dickinson State (N.D.) claimed fourth and fifth respectively.

In total, five teams scored in the 90’s while the other 10 were over 82 points.

Cumberlands (Ky.), Georgetown (Ky.), Missouri Valley, Northwestern (Iowa), Saint Mary (Kan.) and Xavier (La.) did not receive any deductions.

All 15 teams finished with team scores above 82 points, a first in the history of the NAIA Cheer National Championship.

Florida Memorial and Saint Mary (Kan.) made their NAIA nationals debut, the only two teams in the field to do so.

Thirteen of the 15 teams who reached the championship this season competed in the event last year.

Concordia (Mich.), Indiana Wesleyan, Missouri Valley, Oklahoma City, and St. Ambrose (Iowa) have qualified for the championship each season the NAIA has hosted the competition.

Saturday’s Final Round was 75 percent of the total team score.

Final Combined Team Standings

1. St. Ambrose (Iowa) — 97.28
2. Xavier (La.) — 96.91
3. Oklahoma City — 95.91
4. Concordia (Mich.) — 91.73
5. Dickinson State (N.D.) — 91.06
6. Northwestern (Iowa) — 88.55
7. Missouri Valley — 88.46
8. Florida Memorial — 87.95
9. Saint Mary (Kan.) — 87.78
10. Cumberlands (Ky.) — 86.75
11. Tennessee Southern — 86.00
12. Indiana Wesleyan — 85.08
13. Georgetown (Ky.) — 84.70
14. Midland (Neb.) — 83.04
15. MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) — 82.33