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NDSU dance team wins national title

ORLANDO, Fla.

ORLANDO, Fla. - A week after the North Dakota State football team won the Football Championship Subdivision national title, the school is celebrating another national championship.

This time the accolades belong to NDSU's competitive dance team, which took first in the Division I pom category at the 2012 College Cheerleading and Dance team national championships on Sunday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

NDSU also took third in the jazz category, which is the highest the team has ever placed in the category at nationals.

"To bring home another national championship for NDSU was an awesome feeling," NDSU head coach Meghan Wabner said. "These girls are so talented and dedicated. This is their passion, and the team showed a lot of composure performing under pressure."

The championships are split into three divisions: Division 1, Division 1A and open.

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Each event category requires a two-minute routine that is judged based on a points scale.

NDSU's championship in the Division I pom category avenges its second-place finish in the same category a year ago when NDSU was the runner up by a narrow .04 point margin.

Wabner said the team had to make significant adjustments in its routines following the prelims held on Saturday.

The prelims ran until 11 p.m. Saturday evening, leaving NDSU little time to fix its routine and make up the needed points for high finishes.

After a short practice Sunday morning, the team took center stage for the finals.

Then came the announcement of the awards. The top three place finishers in each category are announced from third to first, which Wabner said can be a bit nerve racking.

The first-place pom victory announcement went over well with the team.

"They were ecstatic," Wabner said. "I was incredibly proud of their maturity.

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"They're all still on cloud nine."

The championships will be televised on ESPN later this spring.

NDSU's team is comprised of 18 dancers. The team is set to return to Fargo today. Wabner is assisted by Morgan Hanenberger.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 451-5750

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