As the Fall Semester fast approaches and the UT football team looks to
capture its first national championship in over 30 years, there will be one
set of national champions on the field at half time.

At the National Baton Twirling Association national competition held in
South Bend, Ind. July 26-30, the UT majorettes captured the championship in
the halftime twirling division.

Competing against twirlers from across the United States and abroad, the UT
majorettes won first place for the second year in a row in the halftime
division.

Kristi Ward, head majorette, said the pressure of participating as
defending champion was immense, but preparation was the key.

"There was a tremendous amount of pressure," Ward said. "But we practiced
very hard and were well prepared - and it paid off."

In addition to the halftime championship, the UT majorettes also won the
four foot Riley-Sisk Family Dynasty Traveling Trophy.

Judy Cox, majorette sponsor, said UT's success isn't new, but is the
extension of an impressive legacy.

"Tennessee has a long tradition of excellence for majorettes, dating back
to the 1960's," Cox said. "The majorettes try very hard to maintain that
standard."

Cox said the success of last year's squad stimulated a lot of interest in
this year's squad from perspective twirlers.

Other members of the national-championship team include: Kristi Ward, head
majorette, Seymour; Holly Norman, Powell; Jennifer Culpepper, featured
twirler, McCaysville, Ga.; Kellye Harbison, Oak Ridge; Lorie Lindsey,
Sevierville; Angie Killen, Madisonville; Angel Miller, Chattanooga; Sonya
Coffman, Heiskell; Kandace Bewley, Greenville; Jennifer Whitehead,
Maryville; Pamela Beason, Knoxville; Sonya Walker, Knoxville; Renessa
Oglesby, Knoxville; and Tina Rindom, Knoxville.

The UT Majorette squad will begin preparation for their fall show,
beginning Aug. 13.

The entire Pride of the Southland Band begins full practice on Aug.
16.

Cox said the two national championships have created quite a reputation for
the twirlers across the nation.

"They're definitely known all over the country," Cox said.