TWIN FALLS, Idaho — The College of Southern Idaho's cheer team made program history as the first team in the programs history to compete at the Universal Cheerleaders Association National competition in Florida.
UCA nationals, which were held Jan. 14-16, is one of the most distinguished collegiate cheerleading competitions held at Walt Disney World. College cheer and dance teams from all over the country attend this competition.
CSI cheer captain Whitney Blakely is passionate about cheer and has over 10 years of experience.
For most on the team, this was their first time competing at a tournament as large as UCA nationals.
“The stunts we’re doing, the tumbling we’re doing is just at the next level that you don’t see anywhere else," Blakely said. "And you’re up against amazing schools and so it’s nothing like I’ve seen before."
During their time there, the team attended workshops, sharpened skills and bonded as a squad.
"It was just every emotion you can imagine under the sun, all into one," Blakely said. "I mean, half the trip I was like 'is this really happening,' so getting off that mat was like wow, we accomplished that."
Head Coach Reylene Abbott said competing among the best of the best was an honor.
“Representing our community felt really good," Abbott said. "To really just show this is Idaho, this is Southern Idaho, what we have is amazing.”
While the team didn't place for finals, they brought home something more meaningful than a trophy.
“We really changed and revolutionized CSI cheer this year and I’m so proud of the work that everyone’s put in to do that," Abbott said.