Paw Prints - Tue, Feb. 23, 2010
Minneapolis, Minn. - Under the direction of head coach Tierra Thompson, the 21-member Saint Xavier University Paw Prints Dance Team earned a first place finish in the Hip Hop Collegiate Division over the weekend at the 2010 United Performing Association (UPA) Americup Cheer and Dance Championship at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minn. In addition to the first place finish, the Paw Prints finished fifth overall as a team in Sunday's Grand Championship competition. The Grand Championship pitted all the top teams from all the different dance divisions (pom, jazz, hip hop, open, etc.).

"There are no real words to describe how I feel as a coach right now," said Thompson following the competition. "The Paw Prints dance team has truly put not only their University, but also Chicago on the map, when it comes to dance. They worked hard this season and it has paid off. However, the hard work is not over, now we have to continue to defend our title and bring home more décor to cover those Shannon Center walls."

Saint Xavier also had some of its dance team members earn awards in other smaller divisions, including senior Samantha McCraney (Country Club Hills, Ill./Rich Central), sophomores Bianka Beres (Willowbrook, Ill./Hinsdale South), Tiffany Powell (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee) and Treasure Smith (Detroit, Mich./Southfield-Lathrup) as well as freshman Ariana Rosado (East Chicago, Ind./The Indiana Academy). McCraney, Beres, Powell, Smith and Rosado won the Small Group Super Star competition, while sophomore Brie Stingley (Overland Park, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas) earned third place in the Kick Super Star individual competition as well over the weekend.

Founded in 1987, the UPA is committed to professionalism and creating quality events and spectacular competitions. The UPA Americup Cheer and Dance Championship brings over 400 performances and 3,000 athletes from across the United States to Minneapolis to participate in the annual, two-day competition.