The Boise State Harvey Neef Maneline Dancers took first place in the hip hop division at the USA National Collegiate Cheer and Dance Competition held in Anaheim, Calif., this past weekend. At the same competition, the Boise State Cheerleaders placed third nationally.

     The Maneline Dancers’ hip hop routine was choreographed by Ajhlia Hall. Boise State faced University of Oregon, California State University Fullerton, San Diego State University and in-state rival Idaho State University in this year’s finals. They entered the final round with the highest composite score, the equivalent of being the first seed in a tournament. The team has only competed in the hip hop division for the past three years. Last year they advanced to the final round for the first time and ultimately placed fourth in the nation. Coached by Julie Stevens with the assistance of Tara Batiato, the team has won four national championships in the open dance division in past years.

     “This championship is a great credit to Julie, who has now overseen six national championships between cheer and dance in her career at Boise State,” said assistant cheerleader coach Jonathan Wood. “These students work hard. Seeing that day-to-day work translate into a national championship and watching their excitement as they received their trophy is something I'll never forget.”

     The Boise State Cheerleaders entered the competition as the defending national champions. A strong first performance advanced them to the final round, where they squared off against Northern Kentucky University, California State University Long Beach and Loyola Marymount University. Since 2003, the cheerleaders have advanced to the final round every year, including a second-place finish in 2007 and their 2008 national championship. Their routine was choreographed by Wood. The program is also under the direction of Stevens.

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