Cheer Takes on Dallas

Cheer will compete at Nationals this upcoming weekend, Jan. 26 and 27.

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Cheer Takes on Dallas

Cheer halftime performance at Rockhurst game Oct. 19.

Cheer halftime performance at Rockhurst game Oct. 19.

Stephanie Vince

Cheer halftime performance at Rockhurst game Oct. 19.

Stephanie Vince

Stephanie Vince

Cheer halftime performance at Rockhurst game Oct. 19.

Maleah Downton, Editorial Editor

Cheer team will compete in the Medium Novice Performance Divison at Nationals Jan. 26 and 27 in Dallas, Texas.

“Our team always amazes me at how fast we can pull things together,” Cheer Captain senior Savannah Childress said. “I think we are more than ready to take the mat in Dallas.”

Cheer will embark on the eight-hour drive to Dallas Friday afternoon, Jan. 25. That Saturday, Jan. 26 they will perform their one major routine and earn a score composing 25 percent of their total score for the competition. Sunday, Jan. 27, following critiques and tips from the judges, the team will then perform the same routine earning the final 75 percent of their total score. They are working tremendously hard to do their best, according to the captains.

“We’ve extended our practice times and even added in extra practices to better prepare,” Cheer Captain senior Liz Oltjen said.

This year there have been a few changes for the team. With new coach Tabby McCarthy and new assistant coach Meg Daugherty, along with the addition of a choreographer, the team is optimistic looking forward to nationals, according to Oltjen.

“Our routine looks a lot better this year than in past years because we brought in someone with a lot of experience,” Oltjen said. “I think that’s definitely going to help us more this year.”

The Nationals competition will be the team’s first competition of the school year. Previously they would compete in both the State and Regionals competitions in preparation for Nationals, but this year they opted out.

“We’re all a little uneasy because we haven’t been to a competition this year,” Childress said. “But in all honesty, I think the team as a whole is feeling pretty good going into the competition.”

Outside of the competition, this trip serves as an opportunity for consolidating relationships among the cheer team, according to the captains. Oltjen describes this as the highlight of her experience.

“I always look forward most to bonding with the team,” Oltjen said. “It’s so fun to perform together, travel together and really work together. It’s probably my favorite thing when we do these trips.”

One tradition for the team is going out for a team dinner at the Italian restaurant Bucca di Beppo. Everyone dresses up and spends quality time building and strengthening the bonds that transfer on and off the performance mat, according to Oltjen.

“Everyone looks forward to the dinner,” Oltjen said. “We dress up cute and go out.”

Freshman Trinity Mayer said she gathers a great amount of support from the upperclassmen. As an entirely new experience for the freshmen, upperclassmen have made tremendous efforts in building a relationship and guiding underclassmen along this journey, according to Mayer.

“The upperclassmen have been really helpful,” Mayer said. “From giving me rides to encouraging everyone to work hard and have fun, they have been really helpful and positive throughout the season and especially as Nationals approach.”

These relationships are essential in their performances, according to Oltjen. Being a team sport, Oltjen says she views teamwork as key in their success.

“The only way this team can succeed is if all of us are giving 110 percent,” Oltjen said. “This is about our team and so we put in the work for each other, we are there for each other and we grow closer because of it.”

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