Georgetown News
Rachel Mergenthal was honored as the MSC Cheerleading Champion of Character. Photo by Richard Robards
Rachel Mergenthal was honored as the MSC Cheerleading Champion of Character. Photo by Richard Robards
Cheerleading - Sat, Mar. 5, 2016

Wednesday was an exciting day in Frankfort as Georgetown College cheerleaders got their chance to compete in the Mid-South Conference championships.

The evening was kicked off with five league schools performing in the large team competition and was followed by several stunt categories. Rachel Mergenthal, Sarah Weiner, Kaya Kelly and Bre Ragland teamed up in the all-girl stunt portion and wowed the crowd and judges. The routine started with a backhandspring by Mergenthal into a front flip up to an extension. The foursome stayed technically solid, losing no points on deductions for first place in the all-female stunt competition.

The team as a whole finished fourth by a narrow margin for several deductions to their highly difficult routine.

"Everyone has been working hard for months and I couldn't be more proud of how well we came out and fought for our routine," said GC coach Betsy Montgomery. "Things happen, especially when your routine includes so many difficult lifts and transitions. We never slowed with any of our bobbles and showed a lot of heart for the full two-plus minutes."

Also during the competition two cheerleaders from each team were individually scored in the Cheerleader of the Year and Freshman of the Year competition. For the second time in just three seasons of the FOY being awarded, a Tiger was the honoree. Rookie Madi Webster followed in teammate Kelly's footsteps. Kelly was up for COY for the second straight year, but was narrowly edged out for a back-to-back recognition.

The day started off well at the banquet where various non-competition awards were handed out. The Tigers had nine on the All-Academic All-Conference team.

The league hands out honors for student-athletes which maintain at least a 3.25 grade point average and are at least a sophomore. The Tigers on the list were: Rachel Rouse, Mergenthal, Aubrey Walter, Weiner, Austin Bamback, Haley Oliver, Abby Wheeler, Molly Chamberlain and Josh Brodzik.

The honors did not stop there as Weiner and Walter earned MSC Second Team All-Conference and Kelly and Chamberlain were first team.

Then the big honor of the banquet went to Mergenthal for her exceptional representation of the Champion of Character initiative inside the NAIA. She was selected as the league's Champion of Character as voted on by the athletic directors.

Mergenthal has planned and organized several events over the past year including a 5k Glow Run/Walk. This event yielded 75-plus participants and numerous community donations to help raise funds. She is her sorority's vice president of community service, which focuses on helping organizations such as Girl Scouts of the USA, Prevent Child Abuse America (local and national), and God's Pantry (an area food bank).

"All the way around, this day has been more than we could have hoped for," Montgomery said. "We put in the building blocks for seasons to come and set the bar high for our expectations of this team going forward."

 
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