Durant alum McWilliams named NAIA All-American student-athlete

Oklahoma City's Jenna McWilliams (L) and Makenzi Fox take a break among the competitions and tryouts this spring. Photo provided.

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City University Pom Squad closed out its season on Saturday, coming in as the national runners-up in the NAIA Competitive Cheer/Dance Championships.

Sports presented by Indian Nation Wholesale.

Two of the OCU pom team members received All-America student-athlete status through the regional and national competition: Makenzi Fox, sophomore from Southmoore High School, and Jenna McWilliams, junior from Durant High School.

McWilliams (DHS Class of 2015) is in her third season with the group. In addition to this year’s second place finish, McWilliams has also won two national championships with the competitive OCU Pom/Dance team in the NDA and NCA Championships during her freshman year.

Tasha Hinex, head coach of the OCU competitive Pom/Dance team said McWilliams has stepped up her efforts on many levels this year.

“I think she stepped up in leadership and in work ethic and she personally made her goal to push her self and on top of me pushing the team, she just improved tremendously, too,” Hinex said. “I think mentally she got in the mode of ‘captain’ without necessarily quote-unquote called a captain.  And that helped across the board in tricks, and work ethic and in leadership. That just stemmed from the beginning and she carried it throughout the entire season.”

Those who want to be considered to earn this honor in dance must be able to display excellence in advanced technique and more.

“They also have to complete a choreographed routine that is made so it s not easy for anyone to make All-American. So it’s very much so a challenge physically and technically.”

With a silver NAIA trophy achieved in the 2018 campaign, OCU is looking to go a step beyond that in 2019 and Hinex said she is happy to have McWilliams on the squad for next year’s push.

“She’s great! I’m glad I get to have her one more year.”

McWilliams is on the Dean’s Honor Roll and is set to graduate in 2019 with a degree in Music Theatre.

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