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Mascot takes fifth in nationals

Mascot takes fifth in nationals

Junior communications major Sam Williams is well known around campus for his enthusiastic portrayal of CRUnk, the campus mascot with an impressive repertoire of spirited dance moves. This past April, he gained national recognition, placing fifth in the National Cheer & Dance Association’s Collegiate Championship in Daytona Beach, Fla.

This was the first year that the university competed in the mascot category at nationals. Williams was the sole representative for Division III. The remaining line-up included 12 mascots from Division I schools and 3 from Division II.

Williams was awarded a full-paid bid while attending National Cheerleaders Association camp last July. The NCA camp staffers choose the most spirited collegiate mascot from those attending and grant them a fully paid passage through the preliminary process for the championship each spring.

“Getting that bid at camp in the midst of my peers was very special. I took everything that I learned from the last two years and showcased it at camp,” Williams said.

Competing at the national level was an unprecedented experience for Williams.

“I had never before been in the setting as a mascot where all eyes are on me being judged,” he said. “It’s easy to dance for a minute-and-a-half to get a crowd to react, but to learn to flip in costume I had to lean back and trust that God had my back.”