Volume 43 | Number 2 | Spring 2013
Spring 2013 Issue | By Steve Schaack
ISU sports information director
Photo by ISU Athletics/Karsen Welch King
Benny the Bengal is a national champion. After spending the last two weeks training for nationals, Benny was crowned the national champion in the 2013 US College Championship Mascot Division in Anaheim, Calif. The competition was March 17-18.
"I remember the 1981 national championship our football team won and I wanted to bring another national championship back to Idaho State," Benny said.
In order to win the title, Benny had a two-minute skit he had to perform with only a minute to set up and a minute to take down the props. The skit was "Name that Movie with Benny the Bengal" and he performed it once on March 17 and another time on March 18. Both times he earned in the 90th percentile or better.
Winning the National Championship did come with its challenges. Once Benny arrived in California he found himself wanting to play in the sun on the beach.
"I wanted to go play when I first got here but I remembered the hard work that it takes to be a national champion," Benny said. "I took a couple of quick cat naps in between my training and came out a national champion."
In the midst of all the training, Benny did make friends with other mascots such as Pistol Pete from New Mexico State and Bruno from Salt Lake Community College.
Benny wants to thank the Bengal Athletic Boosters who helped ship his props to California, and all those involved that allowed him to go to the salon to get his fur done in preparation for the competition.
"It really left an impression on the judges," Benny said.
Northern Arizona, Montana, Weber State and Portland State also competed in the competition.
"Our conference was well-represented and did an outstanding job," Benny said.
Benny also wants to give a shout-out to the cheer and dance team, who placed fourth in their national competition.