Truman to represent Missouri at national mascot competition

Friday, January 31, 2014 | 8:54 p.m. CST
Cora Smith, 6, and her sister Cate Smith, 3, rushed to greet Truman during the Homecoming Parade in downtown Columbia in October. Cora, who attended her first Homecoming Parade when she was 11 days old, said she was most looking forward to seeing Truman and getting candy. The girls' father, Cliff Smith, was an offensive guard for Missouri from 1995 to 1998.

COLUMBIA — Truman the Tiger is going to nationals.

MU's mascot, along with the Golden Girls and both cheerleading squads, will represent the school at the National Cheerleaders Association's national championships in April.

Truman will compete in the mascot division, said Suzy Thompson, cheerleading coach and mascot coordinator. At the competition, mascots have a minute and a half to impress the judges.

"It's really just a skit," Thompson said. "It has to have spirit, it has to have crowd appeal. There's a whole judging sheet of things they have to include."

Truman could not share his thoughts on making the national championship, so Thompson spoke on the tiger's behalf.

"As Truman's mom, I do speak Truman, but he can’t talk," Thompson joked.

Thompson said Truman has won the competition in the past.

"The last four years we have not got in," Thompson said. "Last year they took five (mascots), and he was sixth. And that’s why it’s so exciting, because we’ve tried for a lot of years. It’s hard to get into."

Supervising editor is Allie Hinga.

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