The UCF Knights Cheerleading team and KnightMoves are returning from the Happiest Place on Earth with a trio of Top 15 finishes to their names.
Both UCF Spirit teams competed in the Universal Cheerleaders Association and the Universal Dance Association’s College National Championships this weekend at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Disney World.
Newly inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame, Cheerleading head coach Linda Gooch led the team to a 4th-place finish in the Co-ed category, a one-spot improvement from last year.
UCF keeping the energy in the Arena going in Division IA Cheer Finals!!! #UCAnationals pic.twitter.com/UGqqXfDSj8— UCA (@UCAupdates) January 16, 2023
It is the 18th consecutive Top 5 finish for the Knights, which included national championships in 2007 and 2020.
UCF turned in a 90.75 event score (out of a 94 raw score) in the finals, held on Sunday night. It was a 3.05-point improvement over the team’s score last year. However, It ended up 2.65 points behind the National Champion South Florida Bulls, who took home the title for the third consecutive year.
In her first #UCAnationals since being inducted into the #UCF Athletics Hall of Fame, @UCF_LindaGooch leads @UCF_CheerTeam to a 4th-place finish, a one-spot improvement from last year.— Bryson Turner (@itsBrysonTurner) January 16, 2023
The team's 90.75 final score came up 2.65 points shy of now 3x straight National Champ, USF. pic.twitter.com/ZCj5GhvINh
As for KnightMoves, UCF’s Dance team, it matched the heights it reached last year in the Hip Hop category.
Under second-year head coach Joyce Winter, the team once again took home a 7th-place finish, which ties for the highest finish in the category in program history.
The Knights’ 93.2609 event score (out of a 107.25 raw score) in the final was 5.8405 points behind the National Champion UNLV Rebels. However, the score was a 3.3479-point improvement from the team’s score last year.
University of Central Florida! #UDAnationals pic.twitter.com/LaKx3cItjo— UDA (@UDAnews) January 15, 2023
KnightMoves made even more program history once the Jazz category is taken into account.
The Knights made it to the finals in the category for the first time since 2021, which also makes it the first time since 2008 that KnightMoves has made it to the finals in both Hip Hop and Jazz categories in the same year.
UCF got an 88.2464 event score (out of a 101.4833 raw score), which earned a 14th-place finish. It came 8.8406 points behind the national champion Minnesota Golden Gophers.
The University of Central Florida! #UDAnationals pic.twitter.com/F97n3ZqCuI— UDA (@UDAnews) January 15, 2023
Both the cheerleaders and KnightMoves will be back on campus to entertain fans during the Men’s and Women’s Basketball games in Addition Financial Arena.
Watch Cheerleading head coach Linda Gooch’s Interview with the Banneret’s Bryson Turner and Eric Lopez from back in September below: