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Battling with the Best

Champ places eighth at first national mascot championship appearance
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
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Courtesy photo

Louisiana Tech mascot Champ performs on the Universal Cheerleaders Association National Mascot Championship stage. The energetic bulldog finished in 8th place in the invite-only competition.

He may not have come out as top dog, but Louisiana Tech University mascot Champ and the Champ program gained valuable experience in their first appearance in the Universal Cheerleaders Association National Mascot Championship finals last week.

“It was our first time there, so we learned a lot,” program Coordinator Wes Gregory said. “We learned what we can do to improve. It was a really good experience.”

The UCA National Mascot Championship is an invite-only competition in which the top 10 collegiate mascots from across the country are hand-picked based on video submissions to duke it out for supremacy in showing team spirit.

Champ and the other finalists performed on the big stage in Orlando, Florida and were judged on criteria like creativity, prop usage and animation of the performance.

Ruston’s favorite bulldog placed eighth in the final rankings, with a score of 80.5 out of 100 for the entire event. Aubie the Tiger won the championship for Auburn University with a final score of 91.725.

“I’m super proud of Champ and our group,” Gregory said. “It’s something we’ve been trying to do for the six years I’ve been there. It’s a very elite group that get invited every year, so just to be invited to compete was a huge accomplishment for us. To be in that category is an honor.”

Before heading to the championship, Champ and his Krewe of Champ support group had to raise money for the trip. They sold jambalaya plates and garnered community sponsorships to help pave the way.

“We are all so proud of Champ and the Krewe who are always at the top of their gamein supporting our students and representing Louisiana Tech with class!” Tech President Les Guice said on Facebook.

Gregory said the Champ program will look to qualify for nationals again, and in the meantime they’ll be aiming to make Champ’s routine bigger and more polished than ever.

“I really think us being there this year and them actually seeing Champ compete will help us in the long run,” Gregory said. “Everybody loved Champ.”

“We’ll try again next year.”