Girls finish the season strong with a strong outing at nationals

April 3, 2013 — by Nick Chow and Elijah Yi

The cheer team placed fourth out of 21 teams in the Cheer Show varsity division at the USA Spirit Nationals held March 15-17 in Anaheim.

The cheer team placed fourth out of 21 teams in the Cheer Show varsity division at the USA Spirit Nationals held March 15-17 in Anaheim.
The girls started out with a great performance on Friday night for the preliminary round. 
“It went really well. We competed Friday night at nine o’ clock at night, and then we waited for the awards at 11 [p.m.],” senior captain Haley Wong said. “[We found out that] we made it to finals this year, which was really exciting.”
The girls’ routine consisted of 15 girls who performed a dance, a cheer and then another dance, Wong said.
“Throughout the whole [routine], we’re doing tumbling [and] stunting,” Wong said. “You have to scream in the middle, which is really tiring.”
The hardest yet most rewarding part of the routine, according to Wong, was the stunting.
“Our first stunts and our two pyramid [are the highlights],” Wong said. “Pyramids take the whole team, so if someone doesn’t pull their own weight, the pyramid’s not going to go up as well.”
They were part of the top seven teams that advanced to the tournament finals. In the finals, the team placed third, leading to fourth place overall.
“I think they did a really good job adding in the aspect of sportsmanship [during the finals],” cheer adviser Laressa Mead said. “They were more excited and performed with energy on the second day and their scores did increase.”
Throughout the season, the team adapted to changes in the rules that expanded their ability to perform different routines. 
“There were a lot of changes and things they weren’t allowed to do in the past that they were allowed to do this year,” Mead said. “In stunting they were able to be a lot more creative in the skills that they did.”
The addition of three gymnasts — Summer Smith, Cayla Zelanis and Brianna Roseberry — also brought a new dimension to the team that they did not have in the past.
“We added a lot more tumblers [this year] so we had more of it in our routines,” said Mead. “It’s always great to have tumblers on the team, and we will continue to implement them into our routines as long as they are still with us.”
As the seniors say goodbye to their final year of cheer, they made sure to leave a lasting impact on the team for seasons to come.
“[The seniors] have done a really good job of passing down some of the knowledge and traditions that they do on the cheer team and have been able to help each class as they come in,” Mead said. “I think we will have a strong senior group next year as well.”
The girls think that next year’s squad will also be very successful, as there will be strong freshmen and sophomores joining the varsity team. However, the possibility of a coaching change from the current coach, Ashley Arnold, looms over the team.
“If we have a new coach, we don’t really know how this is going to go next year, because we haven’t even met her,” said Wong. 
Still, the girls enjoyed their time in Anaheim with good memories from their performances in the finals. 
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