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The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Three best friends and three titles: The Classy Cats leading trio

Seniors Haworth, Gillespie and McGrevey share an unbreakable bond alongside three national titles
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The Classy Cats pose with the D1A Pom first place trophy. The Classy Cats won the competition for the third year in a row at the College Classic in Orlando, Florida. (Photo courtesy of Jenna Gillespie)

Four years ago, six freshmen joined the Classy Cats to perform at Kansas State sporting events and compete. Three stayed, and had no idea the journey they would embark on together.

For the third time in a row, the Classy Cats claimed the D1A Pom Championship at the College Classic in Orlando. Standing at the helm of back-to-back-to-back titles are three best friends: senior dancers Morgan Haworth, Jenna Gillespie and Megan McGrevey.

“Coming to K-State, I had never met Jenna or Morgan before, so it’s crazy to think about where we were freshman year to where we are now finishing our senior year and how much our friendship has grown over that time,” McGrevey said. “We’ve been through it all together … and it’s such a special moment. I know that me, Morgan and Jenna are gonna be lifelong friends forever.”

The three seniors led the way for the Classy Cats this season. As the only three seniors on a 24-person team, they imparted lessons to their younger teammates to continue The Classy Cats success. 

“I think it was really important for the team to see leaders that are best friends in and out of the sport,” Haworth said. “That means a lot to me because … we all know what we are going through and we know what we need, what helps us, what doesn’t. … They are the best friends I could ask for.”

Through their friendship and lessons from previous Classy Cats, the senior trio brought a culture of winning and togetherness, galvanized by their personal bond that “only makes us stronger,” Gillespie said.

“It’s important to love each other and love your teammates and support each other, but at the same time, you have to hold each other accountable,” Gillespie said.

The trio’s culture of love and accountability was instrumental to becoming three-time champions. While snagging their third title, the senior leaders formulated a unit that stood out among the rest.

“This year more than ever, our team was so close,” Haworth said. “We felt like one unit, we love to be around each other’s presence. We would go out of our way to spend time with each other.”

The focus on unity wasn’t solely from the seniors. Haworth said the freshmen in particular were crucial with their “silliness and fun lighthearted energy.”

Back in Haworth’s freshman year, COVID-19 regulations were still in effect. While this didn’t stop her, Gillespie and McGrevey from forming a strong bond, it did affect competition.

Rather than traveling to the Sunshine State, the 2020-21 Classy Cats filmed its pom dance in Bramlage Coliseum — the first time competing since around the 1990s. The following year was the first title of three, but a new start rather than an end.

“After winning national champions, we were thrilled, but we knew that we couldn’t settle,” McGrevey said.

The next year, McGrevey, Gillespie and Haworth saw the new senior class implement a mentality that brought another championship to Manhattan.

Senior Classy Cats (left to right) Morgan, Haworth, Jenna Gillespie and Megan McGrevey pose together in Orlando, Florida for the College Classic. The trio led the Classy Cats to their third straight D1A Pom title as the only three seniors on the roster. (Photo courtesy of Jenna Gillespie)

“We don’t want it to become something that you just expect, because each year is a new clean slate and you have to work for it even harder,” Gillespie said. “It was definitely a little bit of pressure going into it, just because we wanted it so badly. But we know it’s not the norm to win multiple times in a row.”

Now, the norm is set. The Classy Cats are dominant winners. 

Nevertheless, winning is not the only cornerstone for the Manhattan dancing group. Family and friendship are forever tied to the Classy Cats.

“They truly become your family, and I think that is so cool to have at college because everyone is away from their own families, away from home,” Gillespie said. “So Classy Cats has really been a home away from home these past four years.”

That consistent friendship is best exemplified by this year’s seniors. While not roommates freshman year, the trio all lived in Ford Hall, and now all resides under the same roof as seniors, waiting to graduate.

After May graduation, all three must find a new path. Haworth plans to become a Chiefs cheerleader while Gillespie and McGrevey work on finding careers away from dance.

Through all the lessons learned and time spent growing, they will always remain connected as dancers, champions and, most importantly, best friends — all because of the Classy Cats and the strenuous but rewarding work they’ve put in.

“I’m a completely different person leaving Classy Cats,” McGrevey said. “I’ve grown so much and learned so much about reliability, accountability, mental toughness and growth. And then also just the support system … that support system with Morgan and Jenna isn’t going to go away after we graduate this May. I’m just so thankful I have both of them in my life.”

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About the Contributor
Luke Lazarczyk
Luke Lazarczyk, sports writer
Sports editor for 2023-24. Previously sports editor for 2022-23 and writer for 2021-22.
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