Athlete of the Issue: Christie Requa

Senior Christie Requa helped her team cheer their way to the first place title at NCA Nationals last year.

As team co-captain and most valuable player, Requa is working hard to motivate the team for the rest of this year’s competitions.

The team is thrilled that Principal Adam Clark designated cheerleading as an official Miramonte sport last month.

“It’s really cool to be recognized. We’ve worked hard to earn respect for the sport, and when Mr. Clark suggested it, we were really excited,” said Requa.

This year, the cheerleading team saw many new additions, creating a dedicated and hard-working squad.

“We’ve always wanted to be co-ed,” said Requa. “Ricky is really courageous and persistent in his pursuit of cheerleading.”

Both Requa’s older and younger sisters participate in cheerleading, but her older sister Katie is the reason Requa tried out for the team freshman year.  Now, freshman Carrie Requa is following in her sisters’ footsteps on the varsity team.

In addition to Miramonte cheerleading, Requa was a member of the All Star team called The Pyramids in the ‘09-‘10 season. Leading up to her cheerleading career, Requa participated in softball, soccer, basketball, and gymnastics.

Gymnastics has been the most valuable for her cheerleading talent because that is where she learned to tumble and flip.

Requa has been thrown as far as 18 feet from the ground during a stunt called the “basket.” On the basketball court, Requa can do three back-handsprings in a row, but on a tumbling mat, she could flip forever. The most difficult cheerleading trick that Requa aspires to accomplish is called the “Scorpion,” a one-legged stunt.

A successful cheerleader, according to Requa, has to be committed, spirited, upbeat, and determined to improve the squad. Many girls on the team are capable of high-level gymnastics, but a round-off is the only physical requirement to be a Miramonte cheerleader. “Facials” are the official term for the enthusiastic facial expressions worn by cheerleaders during routines.

“Facials are important because they gain you points in competitions,” said Requa. “They’re kind of ridiculous, but we have to practice them.”

The great mash-ups that the fans hear during the cheerleaders’ half-time routine are made by Coach Rebecca George or bought online. Requa and co-captain Gabby Galarza  ‘11 choreograph most of the team’s routines, and get new ideas from watching other teams and YouTube clips.

“Sometimes we think a routine is going to look a certain way but we often have to adjust the moves until it works for our team,” said Requa.

Requa and Galarza prepare the team before competitions and games by going over the counts of their routine. Coach George occasionally gives the team pep talks to get them motivated.

“It’s a little weird to get motivated to motivate people,” said Requa.

Depending on the college she attends, Requa may try out for the school’s cheerleading team and has considered coaching girls in the future. She enjoys working at the Kids Camp fundraiser that the MHS cheerleaders run during football and basketball seasons.

Requa hopes to lead her team not only to nationals, but also to top finishes in regional competitions throughout the year.