Cheer places 6th at nationals


photo by Sharon Sheridan

Freshman Scarlett Isaacs and her teammates of the varsity cheer team compete at the Hagerty Cheer Challenge. The team took first at the event, and later took second at states and sixth at nationals.

With a second place finish for girls cheer at the state championships, the team had to stay focused for the national competition one week later in Orlando. On Feb. 12, they placed sixth against over 100 teams with a score of 92.6, three and half points away from first place in Division 1.

Beginning with the preliminary competition, they scored third in their group with a small deduction of half a point, pushing them forward to the group semifinals. Here, they placed 10th with a two point deduction, almost ending their competition. However, they continued to the overall semifinal round and placed 13th, tying with Mountain Vista High School. Again, they were only three points from being eliminated. However, in the final round of competition, the girls pulled together and scored sixth place with no deductions, a surprising score considering their previous round placement.

The finish at nationals was important after the team was disappointed with their placement in the state finals. The girls felt they were in a good position to place first, but Winter Park placed higher in individual categories: tumbling, towers and crowd components.

“We had practices the day of and the day before. But once we got on the mat, things didn’t go as well as we hoped,” senior Mia Campese said. “We put in our best effort, but it wasn’t our best performance. And unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for us to take on the title.”

With a goal of improving, the girls performed their routine without any point deductions in the final round at nationals, a step forward from their one point deduction at states. Along with this, they become better teammates leading up to the national competition which allowed them to perform a perfect choreography.

“We’ve improved as a team—we all got really close. And when we’re working together and doing our routines full out, we can see that everybody is putting in the effort and trying their hardest for each other and not just themselves,” Geiger said.