St. Francis Borgia Regional captured its seventh Missouri Cheerleading Coaches Association state championship Saturday in St. Charles, the school’s sixth in a row.

Borgia’s victory in the Class 3 Large Division was the highlight among four area schools which competed in five divisions at the MCCA Championships at Lindenwood University.

Besides Borgia:

• Pacific finished third in the Superlarge Division;

• Union ended fourth in the Class 3 Small Division;

• Washington was seventh in the Class 4 Small Division; and

• Washington’s JV team was 11th in the Class 4 Timeout Division.


Sandi Gildehaus led her squad to the state championship with 333 points. Despite taking two deductions, Borgia won by 24.1 points over Cameron, which was perfect in its routine.

Sikeston placed third at 307.4 points with Mexico (279.8) and Kirksville (265.3) rounding out the field.

Borgia had two cheerleaders receive all-state status with Maggie Westhoff and Tasha Purschke honored.


Pacific placed third in the Superlarge Division with 299 points and two deductions.

Staley was the winner at 319.3 points and three deductions. Wentzville Liberty was second at 316 points and five deductions.

“I am beyond proud of this group of girls,” Pacific Head Coach Casey Cowsert said. “They have come a long way since I took over the team five years ago. The results are not what we were expecting, but I could not have asked more from them. Now we turn our attention to NCA Nationals which we will be competing in Dallas in late January.”


Union competed in the Class 3 Small Division, placing fourth with 303 points and no deductions. Union was a half-point ahead of Oak Grove.

Smithville was the winner at 334.5 points with no deductions.

Odessa was second at 320.1 points while Excelsior Springs ended third at 308.8 points.

Finishing behind Oak Grove were Aurora (298.8), Moberly (296.4), North County (289.1) and Ursuline Academy (288.3).

“We are very happy with our fourth-place state effort this year, but it definitely makes us hungry for more,” Union Head Coach Sarah Otto said. “We are up against many other amazing and talented schools in Class 3.   We increased our score by around 20 points from the KC regional to the St. Louis regional to state. Our score of 303 at state was the highest in our school’s history. What more could a coach ask for? We had a very successful competition season and I am so very, very proud of this team.”

Otto said Union had two cheerleaders who had been ill, but were able to come back just before the state meet.

“On the Thursday before state, both of my girls who had been sick and out all week were able to return and we were back to full force,” Otto said. “Our flyers all added full down skills to their stunts that day. Two of my girls also started throwing standing back tucks that day, which we have never had before.”

Otto was proud that her team had no deductions in its state meet performance.

“On Saturday at Lindenwood, the team put out an amazing performance and had zero deductions,” she said. “I, personally, will never forget the feeling I had when they finished that routine!  It was phenomenal!  They definitely left all they had out on the floor and I could not have asked for more out of them.”

Otto feels the program can improve.

“I am very optimistic about the future of our program,” she said. “We only have one senior this year and we are gaining some amazing talent with the upcoming middle schoolers next year.  The future of Union Wildcat cheerleading is looking very bright.”


Washington sent two teams to the competition with its main squad in Class 4 Small and the JV team in the Timeout Division.

“We had our best performance yet on Saturday, unfortunately it just wasn’t enough to put us in the top five,” Washington Head Coach Katelyn Huber said.

Washington scored 301 points with two deductions to place seventh between Farmington (305.1) and Glendale (299.4).

Jackson won the title with 333.3 points and one deduction. Fort Osage (331.9), Poplar Bluff (315.5), Winnetonka (307.2) and Neosho (306.6) rounded out the top five.

Two Washington cheerleaders, Reese Torres and Anastazia Alsop, were named to the all-state team.

Huber said the junior varsity team competed in the new Timeout Division. That’s so new that the competition wasn’t held at the regional event last month in Washington.

Lebanon won the Class 4 Timeout Division title with 88 points with Glendale, Farmington, Truman and Parkway North rounding out the top five.

Washington finished 11th, two points behind Belton and Rockwood Summit.

Note — Borgia Head Coach Sandi Gildehaus was not able to respond to a request for comments prior to deadline.