By Rachel Ellington, Howard Payne University freshman
BROWNWOOD – April 4, 2013 – The Howard Payne University cheerleaders recently participated in the 2013 Christian Cheerleaders of America Cheer Nationals and were named “National Champions” in the small co-ed college division and fourth place overall. The competition consisted of more than 50 divisions, ranging from toddlers to college students, from more than 20 states.
The HPU cheerleaders, divided into three teams, also competed in the group stunts division, receiving second-, fourth- and fifth-place honors.
“This year’s team has worked very hard throughout the semester and the championship highlights the students’ dedication, talent and ‘coachability’,” said Jeffri Foster, cheer coach. “I could not be any more proud of the team and I look forward to continuing to build a successful program alongside these cheerleaders.”
The HPU cheer team includes Brooke Belcher, a freshman from Gunter; Harli Benham, a freshman from Three Rivers; Aly Castle, a junior from Lampasas; Kelci Feist, a sophomore from Deleon; Kelsey Johnson, a freshman from Goldthwaite; Kris Lowrey, a freshman from Brownwood; Lawrence Martinez, a freshman from Pflugerville; Rachel Moore, a junior from Sierra Blanca; Whitney Presbaugh, a junior from Fort Worth; Dariann Reed, a sophomore from Houston; Rachel Runnels, a sophomore from Paradise; and Mitchell Sostarich, a sophomore from Devine.
Photo cutline: The HPU cheerleaders were recently named “National Champions” at the 2013 Christian Cheerleaders of America Cheer Nationals. Back row, from left: Coach Jeffri Foster, Kelsey Johnson, Rachel Moore, Whitney Presbaugh, Aly Castle, Brooke Belcher and Kelci Feist. Front row, from left: Kris Lowrey, Rachel Runnels, Lawrence Martinez, Harli Benham, Dariann Reed and Mitchell Sostarich.