Morningside’s dance team qualified for the 2018 NAIA Competitive Cheer & Dance National Championships.

Morningside’s competitive dance team received an at-large bid for the 2018 NAIA Competitive Cheer & Dance National Championships to be held March 9-10 in Oklahoma City, Okla.

The Mustangs are one of eight competitive dance teams awarded an at-large bid from the NAIA.

The 12-team field for the NAIA National Championships is comprised of the team champions from the four NAIA qualifying group tournaments and eight at-large teams based on scores from the regular season and the group qualifying tourneys.

Morningside finished third behind Midland University and Point Park University at this past Friday’s NAIA Northwest Qualifying Group Tournament held at Morningside. Midland is the reigning NAIA National Champion.

The Mustangs will make their second consecutive appearance in the NAIA National Championships following a sixth place finish last year.

This year’s NAIA Competitive Dance National Championship field is comprised of qualifying group tournament champions Midland, Grand View University, Lindenwood-Belleville University and St. Ambrose University and at-large teams Morningside, Aquinas College, Baker University, Central Methodist University, Loyola University, Oklahoma City University, Point Park and Siena Heights University.

The members of the Mustangs’ competitive dance team are Jessica Bennett, a senior from Sioux City; Lileigh Brown, a sophomore from Atlantic, Iowa; Chrissa Deeds, a freshman from Correctionville, Iowa; Nicole Hahn, a senior from Sioux City; Kayla Inlay, a junior from Sioux City; Payton Leavitt, a freshman form Marcus, Iowa; Sydney Palmer, a freshman from Raymore, Mo.; Danielle Plathe, a freshman from Algona, Iowa; Miranda Shipley, a junior from Des Moines, Iowa; Samantha Stark, a sophomore from Sioux Falls, S.D.; Jenna Winkler, a sophomore from Papillion, Neb.; and Alison Wright, a sophomore from Rock Rapids, Iowa.

The Mustangs’ head coach is Alisha Steckler, who was named the 2018 Hauff Mid-America Sports/Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Competitive Dance Co-Coach of the Year earlier this season.