Lewis University Cheerleaders placed 14th overall in the All-Girl II Division
of the annual National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) Collegiate National Championship held in Daytona Beach, Florida, April
The Lewis Cheerleaders who competed included junior Jenifer Schmidgall of
Springfield, Ill.; junior Natalie Lyons of Darien, Ill.; sophomore Natasha Hortmann of Justice, Ill; sophomore Stefanie Lebre
of New Lenox, Ill.; sophomore Maggie Slosar of Big Rock, Ill.; freshman Krista Rue of LaGrange, Ill.; freshman Jill Wright
of Herscher, Ill.; freshman Mandie Engel of Braidwood, Ill.; freshman Sarah Skibicki of Chicago, Ill.; freshman Ashley Sneddon
of Crestwood, Ill.; and freshman Ralene Schmidt of Roselle, Ill.
Teams from across the country gathered to compete in the worlds largest collegiate
cheerleading competition. After placing 11th in the All-Girl Division II preliminary competition, out of the 25 colleges competing,
the team advanced to finals.
"Our goal was to make it to finals," said Suzanne Stamm of Joliet, Ill.,
Lewis Cheerleading Coach. "The girls were elated just to make it that far! This is the first time the Lewis Cheerleaders have
made it to nationals. They really worked hard and pulled together as a team."
On the last day of the competition, the team also received first place at
the NCA Daytona Beach Classic in the All-Girl Open Division. Lewis defeated Johnson & Wales University of North Miami.
According to Stamm, the team had to overcome some obstacles before making
it to the national competition, including changing the choreography of the routine the week before to assure the best performance
"It really was an overwhelming sense of teamwork," Stamm said. "We practiced
so hard and it showed in the performance."
Stamm also credits Ken LaFave of Huntley, Ill., Assistant Lewis Cheerleading
Coach, with the teams success.
The team will sponsor fundraisers throughout the next couple months to pay
to attend cheerleading camp during the summer.