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PSU Cheerleaders win New England Open Championships

            EAST HAVEN, Conn. - The Plymouth State University cheerleading team took first place on Saturday at the New England Cheerleaders Association Open Cheer and Dance Championships.

            PSU finished ahead of Eastern Connecticut State University in the College All-Girl Division.  The teams were judged on their two-and-a-half-minute routine, which included a variety of gymnastics, tumbling, stunting, dancing, and aerials, in unison.

            "The girls were amazing," said eighth-year head coach Carrie Kiley.  "We hit all of our stunts in our routine.  We did very well and I'm very proud of them."

            The Panther cheerleaders are in their second season as a varsity program at PSU.  The team performed at home men's and women's basketball games all winter, and is also performing in spirit competitions.  PSU competed in January at the College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championships at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.

            The team is led by junior captains Erica Barnhart (Nashua, N.H./Nashua South) and Ashley Smith (West Barnstable, Mass. /Barnstable).

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