ORLANDO – The University of Colorado’s beloved costumed mascot Chip won the 2009 UCA Mascot National Championship Friday here in conjunction with the 2009 College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championships administered by the Universal Cheerleader Association and the United Dance Association.
It is Chip’s first national championship after three top 10 finishes previously.
"I felt very confident. The run-throughs this morning were next to flawless and very consistent, so the guys were confident." CU cheer coach Travis Prior said. "The performance order after the draw had us in ninth and by that point, I knew if the skit went without mishap we had a very solid chance of pulling off a title."
Chip was one of 10 mascots invited to perform and took first place by over 10 points, beating the likes of Aubie from Auburn, who finished second while Goldy Gopher from Minnesota was third, Sparty from Michigan State fourth and Smokey from Tennessee fifth.
“After the Chip team performed at the Events Center on January 7, they re-evaluated, modified and perfected their props and routine before departing for Orlando,” Prior said. “The work continued here in Orlando and culminated in a near flawless performance.”
Chip qualified for the national competition from a video entry preliminary, which accounted for 50 percent of the score at nationals. Chip was in Each mascot performed a 1 minute and 30 second skit that accounted for the other half of the score. Guidelines for the skit dictated the use of no more than 10 props and he was evaluated by a panel of expert judges on crowd appeal / crowd interaction, creativity, animation and enthusiasm, prop usage and overall impression.
“Chip appeared to be speechless during the post competition interview,” Prior said. “But his handlers were very ecstatic.”