ORLANDO - The University of Colorado's two-time defending National Champion mascot Chip took home third place at the 2011 UCA/UDA College Championships here Friday, meaning Chip has now finished in the top three in three consecutive years at the Mascot National Championships.
"My thought process was, of course we want to win, but to three-peat would be very difficult," CU Spirit Coordinator Liz Harris said. "We didn't place as high with our video, so we were a little behind from the get-go."
The competition is judged 50 percent by a video already submitted and 50 percent on Friday's performance. In the video judging, the Buffs ranked second according to UCA/UDA standards but actually stood fourth behind a three-way tie for first entering Friday.
Minnesota's mascot, Gohper won while the Auburn Tiger, Aubie, took home second.
"We have set our standards high and a third place finish is really great," Harris said. "We love the Gopher, we actually work with those guys a lot and like them, so we were happy to see them win. Poor Aubie has been second five straight years now."
Aubie the Tiger was actually a part of Chip's skit. A Las Vegas-themed skit based on the Hollywood blockbuster The Hangover, Chip at one point walked into a bathroom where Aubie was waiting, much like the scene in the movie where actor Ed Helms walks into the bathroom where he encounters Mike Tyson's tiger.
The CU Express dance team is also in Orlando competing in both the jazz and pom divisions. The semifinals of the jazz competition will happen Saturday with the finals slated for Sunday. The Buffs are already finalists in the pom division, which will also take place Sunday. Last season, the Buffs took home third place in the pom division.
The dance competitions are judged 15 percent based on a video entry and 85 percent on the weekend's competition. This will be the first time in a decade the Buffs have competed in the jazz division and the Buffs weren't a threat for a title back then.
"Last year we made a huge name four ourselves," Harris said based on Chip's win and The Express' third place finish. "People are excited to see Colorado Spirit squads. There are a lot of perennial favorites in these competitions and we are still up and coming, so it will be interesting to see how we do the next two days."
CU's cheer squads compete in a different competition that will take place later in the spring.