Cheerleaders Head to National Championships

Cheerleaders+Head+to+National+Championships

Photo: V. Belinsky

Miramonte crowds love the team’s trademark pom-pom heart.

Nicola Gonzales, Staff Writer

The success of the Miramonte cheerleading squad this year has uplifted the program to a whole new pom pom routine. Compared to last year’s meager 12 cheerleaders, this year’s team has expanded into a spirit squad of 19, with 16 girls also on a competition team. These teams are led by coaches Carol Herndon and Biology teacher Rebecca George.

Recently, the competition team qualified for the National Championships, and won the Cheer Sport NorCal Championships in Stockton on March 4. There were eight to nine teams competing.

At this year’s Holiday Classic, the Miramonte cheer squad qualified for Nationals with a high score on one of their routines. The general mood regarding the upcoming competition is excitement mixed with the expected nervousness.

The competition will take place at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, and will be nationally televised on ESPN.

The MHS squad has also become much closer this year. Carrie Requa ‘13 claims that a lot of the girls have become best friends because of cheer. They practice together for around five hours a week, and are with each other practically every day.

“We’re together almost everyday at practices and we have become really close. We have a lot of team bonding sleepovers that bring us together,” said Requa.

This year’s coaches pushed the girls harder than ever, with more difficult stunts and tumbling passes.

They work mainly on competition routines, as it’s those that advance them through the competitions. For games, they create less difficult halftime performances.
Stunting has become a few inches easier with Taylor Wong ‘15 and Julia Gomes ‘15 on the team. Because of their smaller frames, they are easier to throw and painless to catch.

The squad has improved with more regular and intensive practices. They also practice a lot outside of regular training, improving their flexibility and conditioning.
When everyone participates in those, the practices usually move quicker and they are able to focus more on routines.
Although there is nothing past nationals for high school cheer, they intend to give it their all and create the best performance to date.

“We have much better skills than last year and we are expecting to do very well and place high,” said Requa.
This year’s cheer squad has improved vastly, and the qualification for Nationals is one example of how great the team is becoming. After hard practices and tough competition, the pyramids are aligning correctly and the stunts are landed even more perfectly.

“It’s hard work but it really pays off,” said Jamey Abeles ‘14.