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Bethel wins conference cheerleading invitational

September 11th, 2017

[UPDATE: The Bethel cheerleading squad will compete in the NAIA regionals at Oklahoma City University Feb. 18-19. Team members involved are seniors Sondra Buller, Aurora, Nebraska, Erin Doerksen, Newton, Jennifer Schrag, McPherson, Renae Stucky, Moundridge, and Amy Wedel, Peabody; juniors Justin Haflich, Pretty Prairie, and Mikala Wertz, Wichita; sophomores Kendra Gonzales, Minneapolis, Garrett Lindley, Goddard, and Veronica Ziegler, Hesston; and freshmen Whitney Danbury, Killeen, Texas, Lily Funk, Olathe, Nathaniel Ortega-Torres, Harker Heights, Texas, and Bailey Strausz, Moundridge.]

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Bethel College cheerleading team has its first-ever conference championship.

The Threshers hosted the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) Invitational Feb. 12 in Thresher Gym, finishing first with a score of 84.625, and topping teams from Kansas Wesleyan University, Ottawa University, Sterling College and University of St. Mary.

Because there were not at least six teams participating in the tournament, the KCAC champion does not earn an automatic bid to the national tournament. However, said Joseph Gogus, head cheer coach, “We have high hopes of earning an at-large bid because of our high score.”

The NAIA Cheer National Tournament is March 10-12 at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.

In “team cheer,” Bethel was first, followed by Ottawa, with 79.125, Kansas Wesleyan with 78.025, Sterling with 76.75 and St. Mary with 65.5.

In addition to winning the team competition, Bethel also dominated in the KCAC All-Star selection (awarded for individual excellence), capturing six of the seven spots.

Winning recognition were seniors Erin Doerksen, Newton, and Jenni Schrag, McPherson; sophomores Kendra Gonzales, Minneapolis, and Justin Haflich, Pretty Prairie; and freshmen Whitney Danbury, Killeen, Texas, and Nathaniel Ortega-Torres, Harker Heights, Texas.

Danbury tied for the highest score (18.33) with Elissa Bailey of Kansas Wesleyan.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2015–16 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

In sports, Bethel competes within the 11-school KCAC, and the NAIA. For more information, see

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About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.