Archive for Monday, March 19, 2012

KU spirit squad, band members help save trapped man before NCAA women’s tournament game

March 19, 2012, 1:55 p.m. Updated March 19, 2012, 10:04 p.m.


— Members of Kansas University’s spirit squad and band had no idea their spring break would involve saving a man’s life.

Nine men from the KU organizations — four cheer squad members and five band members — were about to board a bus to take them to the Kansas women’s basketball team’s Sunday evening NCAA Tournament game against Nebraska when they saw a panicked man in the Hilton hotel parking lot.

Cheer squad members Chase Ryan, Gavin Runkle, Garrett Greaves and Alex O’Neilio, as well as band members Alex Sizemore, Kyle Stringer, Lucas Wallace, Spencer Merryfield and James Austin were leaving the hotel lobby and it took them a moment to realize a man was making a small commotion near two cars parked next to each other.

Said Runkle: “He was trying to pick up the car, and we realized he was trying to do something.”

At first, they weren’t sure what he was yelling about, O’Neilio said, but upon further investigation they discovered there was another man trapped underneath a Cadillac sedan.

“Then we all just naturally ran,” O’Neilio said.

Apparently the car had been propped up on a jack, but the vehicle had rolled off the support, trapping someone who had crawled underneath. All nine KU students helped lift the automobile off the ground, and the man was able to free himself and appeared relatively unharmed, though he was covered in grease and had some minor wounds, they said.

The whole scene was a blur for the Kansas students, as well as KU spirit squad coordinator Cat Jarzemkoski, who also was on the scene.

“He got up. He was disoriented,” Jarzemkoski said. “You could tell his head was bleeding.”

The man didn’t say anything to the students afterward, the spirit squad and band members said, because he was too dazed. They just felt lucky that they happened upon the accident.

“I don’t know what he would’ve done if we weren’t walking by,” Jarzemkoski said.

The spirit squad coach was proud to see how the KU students responded.

“They just dropped everything. They didn’t panic,” Jarzemkoski said.

The group went on to their game duties and didn’t miss a second of the Jayhawks’ 57-49 victory over Nebraska at Jack Stephens Center.


Clickker 6 years ago

Thats some motivated young women!!

evalrt 6 years ago

They've got muscles, yes they do. They've got muscles, how 'bout you?

DillonBarnes 6 years ago

Awesome, way to go!

By the way, the spirit squad consists of men and women.

AreUKiddingMe 6 years ago

If You havnt noticed. KU has a coed squad with some pretty big guys...

Larry Sizemore 6 years ago

I watched the game on television and didn't see any KU cheerleaders there. The Nebraska cheerleaders were shown several times and the KU and NU pep bands were shown.
Were there actually any KU cheerleaders there?

AreUKiddingMe 6 years ago

No it's a big conspiracy! They are just trying to divert attention away from the ticket scandal!!!

yes they were there....

are you kidding me?

jonas_opines 6 years ago

That's a story to tell, lol. "Honey, what happened to you today?" "Well. . . . "

grimpeur 6 years ago

Hey, it's Milkman Dan! Love your strip! Hope it all works out...with the car and everything.

Jayhawk_4_Life 6 years ago

It was two Yell Leaders and the rest were members of the KU Band.

friendlyjhawk 6 years ago

Spirit Squad member and KU Pep Band members are fine representatives of KU and did a wonderful good deed.

James Minor 6 years ago

It doesn't matter if it was the cheerleaders or the pep band boys. KU delivers when needed. When in need just call KU - A champion always delivers. KU Pep Band, KU Cheerleaders, KU BBALL men and KU BBALL Women - Rock Chalk!

Bailey Perkins 6 years ago

Congrats on being a good samaritan...

Honestly...had the average person done the exact same thing, would they receive any credit?

SockPuppets 6 years ago

yes they would kansasgirl

any person who's picking up Cadillac isn't average in my book.

Dave McClain 6 years ago

Did anyone really read this article? It states 9 members, 4 Cheer Squad, and 5 Band Members, all male, came to the rescue.

anonyname 6 years ago

...which is why it's a little strange that (at least as I write this) the picture on the LJW home page and for this article shows only the cheer squad. Not only that, but it shows 15 female cheer squad members and 7 males, with six more males not even having their heads visible. Looks like most of us read the article, but the picture isn't even likely representative of the cheer squad members who helped.

Aileen Dingus 6 years ago

The original article didn't mention the band, or the gender of the people involved in lifting the car. Just "Spirit Squad" which, I'm assuming, most people think is all female.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

That's the problem - assuming. Yes, there are male nurses and female doctors. Usually if it were the women squad they would say cheerleaders. If the say the Spirit Squad, they are usually referring to the guys; although they do the same thing, except the guys don't show as much leg.

Aileen Dingus 6 years ago

I wasn't assuming the Spirit Squad was all female. I was assuming the first few commenters (before the article was updated) were, which is why they said things like "You go ladies!" and "Thats some motivated young women!!"

Tyson Travis 6 years ago

This was all over the local news down here in Arkansas yesterday, some nice positive publicity for the KU squad. The TV segments only featured the guys who were involved. Probably only needed to lift the Caddy up off its suspension a few inches to allow the trapped man to escape, when you've got some adrenaline pumping and you're young and strong, it was probably just a big bench press. Wish the Lady Jayhawks luck tonight against Delaware with their NCAA-leading scorer. Two big wins in 48 hrs by the guys and gals would be awesome!

Nanna1 6 years ago

WOW! I am an employee of KU and I couldn't be prouder of these young men. Thank You for being there at the right place at the right time, and doing the right thing. That is one thing about people from Kansas is they are always willing to pitch in and help those in need. Thanks for just being you!! Praise God, for the well being of that man under the car that thought he wouldn't be going home that night. This could have turned out so poorly but instead ended wonderfully.

m7795119 6 years ago

As a past (way past I'm afraid) member of the KU Spirit Squad, I can attest it is made up of men and women who are extremely fit - from Yell Leaders to Mascots to Crimson Girls (new name now I think) to Cheerleaders. What isn't mentioned is that this crew is likely the "B" team or JV members of the KU Spirit Squad - those that didn't get to go to the big game in Omaha. It's hard work and sometimes hard to take missing out on the big game to cheer a less publicised event - but women's sports and any other event other than men's basketball benefit greatly from the dedication of the KU Spirit Squad. This is a great article and a great deed done by some fine young folks. Rock Chalk!

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