MHS Cheerleaders Place at Nationals

Mary Kate Engstrom

On the weekend of Mar. 26-27, the Miramonte cheer team competed in the 2011 USA Spirit Nationals at the Anaheim Convention Center and got third place.

The squad competed in two competitions prior to Nationals, and beat out a number of teams, recieving high enough scores to qualify for Nationals.

“In one of the competitions we got second place and were given a huge trophy. When we did our routine the trophy was right in front of us so we all really wanted to get it,” said Galarza.

In the preliminary round of Nationals, the team tied for first place, beating 11 other teams and becoming one of three teams to qualify for the final round. In the final round of Nationals, the team got third place, a mere .2 points behind the second place score.

“It was really hard to hear how close we were to getting second. We were still happy to get third though,” said Galarza.

The team has been preparing for the competition since July. In the months leading up to Nationals, they had six-hour long Saturday practices every other weekend and three-hour practices two or three days a week.

“Stunting is my favorite part of cheer but it’s also one of the hardest parts. We spend a lot of time working on that,” said Galarza.

In last year’s Nationals, the team placed first. This year’s competition was hosted by a different company and Miramonte was up against a lot more teams.

“Even though we didn’t place as high this year, we were really happy with the outcome. Of course we are going to try and improve next year. We’re always shooting as high as we can,” said junior Emilia Hildreth.

Although cheerleading isn’t always considered the most difficult sport by outsiders, the team enjoys being around the other cheerleaders at competitions because they understand the difficulties of cheering.

“At the competitions, everyone there is a cheerleader so it’s nice because they really understand how hard we work,” said Galarza.

To take a break from all the stress of Nationals, the girls got to spend time at Disneyland in between their performances. One night, California Adventure Park was closed off to everyone except the cheerleaders competing in Nationals and they got to enjoy a practically empty park.

“Our night at California Adventure was really fun. We got to go on the rides with practically no lines, they had free food that we got to eat, and they had a special dance for all the cheerleaders competing at Nationals,” said senior Faith Engstrom.