By Saveria Farino
After intense workouts and late night practices the competitive cheer team and varsity Cougarettes competed in the National Cheerleaders Association Regional Championship and the National Dance Alliance Regional Championships on Saturday, Feb. 4, just one month before finals in Orlando, Florida.
Competitive cheer began bright and early at 11:18 a.m. with a routine full of tumbling, individual stunts, pyramids, and a dance to show their Cougar pride. They competed in the Large Advanced high school category, winning second place for their routine.
“The best part about cheerleading is being able to be with my friends cheering on our school teams and performing at assemblies,” Megan Knudson, junior, said.
The nationally ranked Cougarette dance team competed with dances under the jazz and pom categories. The Cougarettes placed first in both jazz and pom. They also won the technical excellence award.
“When they announced our team won first place in both categories, I was ecstatic. A feeling of gratitude overwhelmed me, and I realized all the hard work we put in definitely paid off,” Lauren Hirsh, sophomore, said.
Soloists included Taylor Nagai, junior, and Ashlyn Peltier, senior. Nagai placed first and Peltier placed fifth out of 19 different dancers throughout the county.
“I love being able to host competitions at our school. It’s a great experience where our team gets to bond even more and have our school come out to support us. The competition was tough but this year we are proud to say that we have took home the gold. On top of all that we were grateful to accept the award for technical excellence as well,” Nagai said.