Today@Sam Article

Cheer Alumni To Train Team Norway 2019

April 5, 2018
SHSU Media Contact: Hannah Haney


Cheer MAIN1Meagan Balentine, Sam Houston State University’s assistant spirit programs coach, shows no signs of slowing down. With over a decade of cheerleading experience, she along with Bearkat alumnus, Jesse Hulet, have been invited to coach the 2019 National All Girl Team and the National Coed Team in Norway.

For the first time, Team Norway will be picked from scratch and represented by independent athletes from different clubs within the country. In all, the pair will coach 48 athletes all over the age of 15. Both the Norway National All Girl Team and Norway National Coed Team will train to represent Team Norway at the International Cheer Union in Orlando, FL in the Premier Division. Tryouts begin April 14 in Oslo, Norway.

“We are so excited to have the opportunity to coach the Norwegian teams. We have both been cheering for well over a decade, with the hopes of eventually coaching together at a University,” Balentine said. “After being chosen to coach the Norwegian teams, we are beyond ecstatic.”

According to the Federation of Norwegian-American Sports, both Balentine and Hulet were selected because of their, “long experience as practitioners, but also their long experience in helping practitioners succeed in performing at a high level.”

The pair have been cheering partners since 2013 and both have UCA and NCA backgrounds. They have competed with Morehead State University Coed, Sam Houston State University Coed and Team USA. They have also competed internationally in partner stunt competitions, including the European Open, China Open and Asia Open.

cheer2“We never imagined that we would surpass our goal of being collegiate coaches and get the opportunity to coach two international teams at the highest level of cheerleading today,” Balentine said.

During their time at SHSU, both studied Criminal Justice while also contributing to a successful cheer program. Their accomplishments include winning first place coed NCA College Nationals in 2013, first place in UCA Partner Stunts, a first UCA partner stunt title and first place NCA College Nationals, in 2015. 

“Being able to give back and coach at SHSU has been such a blessing and an honor,” Balentine said. “I love keeping the Sam Houston traditions alive and continuing to aid in the success of the program.”

While Balentine is currently coaching at the highest level of cheerleading today, the International Cheer Union received Provisional Recognition by the International Olympic Committee in December of 2016. This opens up the possibility that cheerleading may one day be considered an Olympic sport. Balentine and Hulet welcome the challenge.

“As cheerleading continues to grow, we aspire to continue to coach at the highest level of cheer possible. As cheerleading evolves, we would like to continue to evolve with it.”

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