Crying Utah State Cheerleader Jokes About Going Viral During March Madness: 'Now I'm a Meme'

Ashlyn Whimpey told her social media followers she's been having "a really hard time focusing" on midterms amid her newfound internet fame

Ashlyn Whimpey
Photo: TNT

The Utah State cheerleader whose reaction went viral after her school was eliminated from the 2023 NCAA Men's Tournament has spoken out about her online fame.

Following Utah's 76-65 loss to Missouri on Thursday, cheerleader Ashlyn Whimpey was caught looking teary-eyed on TNT cameras.

Her relatable reaction was turned into a viral meme among March Madness fans, who later criticized the network for focusing on Whimpey's disappointment.

One Twitter user wrote, "Felt bad when the camera kept showing her, probably her last game as a cheerleader." Another said, "Actually think it's awesome she cares that much…not sure why it needs to be mocked on social media."

Whimpey later took to social media to poke fun at her viral moment.

"That one time when I was sad to cheer at my last game," she wrote in the caption of a TikTok post explaining the moment. "And now I'm a meme," she added.

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The Aggies cheerleader, who is reportedly dating Utah State player Sean Bairstow according to The Sun, returned to the app the following day, where she told followers the attention from her viral moment was distracting her from school.

"Hey guys…coming on here to tell you I have had a really hard time focusing on my midterms due to TNT thinking the crying cheerleader was better footage than the basketball game," Whimpey wrote in the video, which she called "a quick PSA" in the post's caption.

Bairstow also took a moment to address his rumored girlfriend's newfound Internet fame. The Sun also caught an Instagram story shared by the athlete where he wrote, "As supporting as they come, congrats on such a successful 20 years of cheer @ashwhimp."

Whimpey reposted Bairstow's story and wrote, "The best season cheering for my boy! So proud of you @seanbairstow2," per the outlet.

On Sunday, Whimpey penned an emotional goodbye letter to her cheerleading career after performing with the Aggies for the last time on March 4. "Evryone has seen how sad I was to cheer at my last game, but here is my happy tribute to one of the best decisions I've ever made," wrote Whimpey. She told her followers that the Utah State Spirit Squad "brought more good" to her life than she "could've ever imagined' and thanked the team for giving her the opportunity.

"Forever proud to be an Aggie cheerleader," Whimpey ended the post.

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