Cougarettes pick up 21st and 22nd national championships
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — The BYU Cougarettes won both the Division 1A hip hop and jazz national championships at the 2022 NDA Collegiate Cheer & Dance Championship.
The NDA Championships were held April 6-10 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The Cougarettes have now won 22 national championships since 1997. They captured the 2022 hip hop crown with a score of 98.426 to finish ahead of Louisville (96.4286), Boise State (95.1429), Florida State (94.8571) and Florida Atlantic (91.9143). In the jazz category, the Cougarettes took the 2022 title with a score of 96.9714, ahead of West Virginia (94.8571), Boise State (94.8000), South Carolina-Columba (94.2000) and Iowa State (94.0286).
The Cougarettes’ hip hop score was the highest of the entire competition, which includes hip hop, jazz, pom, team performance and spirit rally.
“This year was especially special, because we’ve been in two years of COVID,” said BYU Cougarettes co-head coach Stacy Bills. “Last year’s nationals just felt a little lackluster, because for those families that were able to travel, they stood behind essentially glass walls. There was no contact. You didn’t feel like you had a live audience. It almost felt lonely. It was just a very strange experience. Then beyond that, we took second in Jazz. We were pretty disappointed in that. So we came back with a vengeance. We had so many awesome supporters who were able to be there. It was a real nationals with just thousands of people everywhere, and then to be able to win both jazz and hip hop, it just made it so awesome.”
Bills and Morgan St. Pierre took over the co-head coaching responsibilities two years ago, after the retirement of Jodi Maxfield, who had been with the Cougarettes for 30 years.
“It’s an honor to win the 21st and 22nd titles,” said Cougarettes senior Rachel Hansen. It’s honestly humbling when we go to a competition like this and eyes kind of turn when they see the Cougarettes are up next. Of course it’s exciting, and it’s an honor, but it’s humbling to have the reach that we do.”
The Cougarettes have won six NDA Open Division/Jazz IA championships (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2022), eight NDA Hip Hop Division IA championships (2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021, 2022) and eight NDA Team Performance Division IA championships (1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010). They were also United Spirit Association National Champions in 2005 and 2006. The Cougarettes won gold in both the jazz and hip-hop division at the ICU World‘s competition in 2021.
For many years, the BYU Cougarettes have been known for their dominance in the Division IA Jazz category. But in recent…