Cheer looking good


Varsity Cheer competed at the Patriot Conference Preliminary Competition held at Lake Braddock Secondary School on Tuesday Oct. 13. They placed fifth in the competition with a score of 166 . “I think we did amazing [at Conferences], we hit everything,” junior Amanda Nguyen said. Varsity beat T.C. Williams, West Potomac and Mount Vernon but fell to South County, Lake Braddock, Woodson and West Springfield. “We definitely brought everything to the mat and I am very proud of our team! You could say, we slayed our routine,” junior co-captain Karen Lara said. Varsity spent many hours a week preparing for the two and a half minute routine that is composed of dance, stunts and a creative cheer. “We have worked together since the summer to make our cheerleading better,” coach Cragin Winkler said. Each performance is awarded points based on its synchronization, level of difficulty and percentage of the team with advanced skills. “I couldn’t be more proud of my teammates and the progress and dedication we have shown throughout the season,” senior co-captain Shelby Runolfson said. This first competition had two rounds. “They looked great during the first round and stepped it up and look awesome for the second round” Winkler said. “We can clean up our routine to have perfect execution and we want to really get the crowd involved during the cheer,” Winkler said. Each team has a week to take the judges comments and apply them to their final performance. “Now that we know we can hit, we can work on confidence and making sure everything looks tight and clean! And then maybe we can add little extra difficulty,” Lara said. The top four teams at finals will go on to compete at the Regional Competition. “Right now, our team is really hungry for regionals and we are not going to stop what we’re doing until we to get just that… regionals,” senior Varsity Cheer captain Kadija Sesay said. “I am hoping to only grow from this point and getting into the top four would be the best,” Winkler said about her goals to make it to regionals. Varsity has come very close to qualifying for regionals for several years, right now they are seeded only nine points behind the fourth place team. “I love my teammates. We spend more time together than our own families and we learn new things about each other every day,” Sesay said. “We are a very diverse team and we’re always laughing, motivating each other and having fun.” This team has become very close after the hours of training they put into their sport. “It’s a special bond, when you spend so much time with a group of people, you get to know them and they are my family,” Lara said. “We work together as a family and the team works really well together,” Winkler said. “They have motivation to continue to get better and they always work very hard at practice.” Be sure to support Varsity Cheer at District Finals at Lake Braddock Secondary School on Wednesday Oct. 21, at 6 p.m.