Morningside to host NAIA Competitive Cheer & Dance Northwest Qualifying Group Tournament

February 21, 2018, in Athletics, Cheer and Dance

Morningside’s competitive cheer & dance teams will compete for a spot in the 2018 NAIA Competitive Cheer & Dance National Championships when the Mustangs host the NAIA Northwest Qualifying Group Tournament on Friday in the Rosen Verdoorn Sports Center/Allee Gymnasium.

The event will be videostreamed live at

Morningside is one of four sites from across the nation selected to host a group qualifier tournament. Siena Heights University in Adrian, Minn., will host the Northeast Qualifier, Lindenwood University-Belleville in Belleville, Ill., will host the Southwest Qualifier and Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan., will host the Southeast Qualifier.

Friday’s competition at Morningside will begin with competitive cheer prelims at 12:10 p.m. Competitive dance prelims will start at 1:15 p.m., with finals slated at 3 p.m. for cheer and 4:15 p.m. for dance. Competitive cheer and competitive dance NAIA All-America tryouts will follow at 5:35 and 6:15 p.m., respectively.

Morningside's competitive cheer team is scheduled to compete in prelims at 12:24 p.m. and the Mustangs' competitive team is slated for a 2:18 prelim competition time.

Morningside’s Kayla Inlay, a junior from Sioux City, earned NAIA All-America honors in competitive cheer last year. Inlay, Miranda Shipley, a junior from Des Moines, Iowa, and Jenna Winkler, a sophomore from Papillion, Neb., are returning NAIA honorable mention All-Americans in competitive dance.

Inlay was named to this year’s All-Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Competitive Cheer Team and received honorable mention All-GPAC recognition in competitive dance along with Mustang teammates Winkler and Alison Wright, a sophomore from Rock Rapids, Iowa. Morningside head coach Alisha Steckler was selected as the 2018 Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Competitive Dance Co-Coach of the Year after the Mustangs’ runner-up finish behind Midland at the GPAC Championships.

Morningside’s competitive dance team is coming off a 2017 season where it placed sixth at the NAIA National Championships. The Mustangs finished second at this year’s GPAC Competitive Cheer & Dance Championships on Feb. 10 in Hastings, Neb., where Midland University finished first in both the competitive cheer and competitive dance divisions.

The competitive dance field for Friday’s NAIA Northwest Qualifying Tournament will include Morningside, Concordia University, Doane University, Dordt College, Hastings College, the University of Jamestown, Midland, Northwestern College, Point Park University and College of Saint Mary.

Morningside will be joined by Briar Cliff University, Concordia, Doane, Hastings, Midland, Northwestern, Point Park and Waldorf University in the competitive cheer competition.

The competitive cheer and competitive dance champions from each qualifying tournament will advance to the 2018 NAIA Competitive Cheer & Dance National Championships slated for March 9 and 10 in Oklahoma City, Okla. The remaining eight spots in both the cheer and dance divisions for the national championship event will be at-large selections based on scores from the regular season and the qualifying group tournaments.

Click here for the Morningside Northwest Qualifying Group Tournament performance schedule.