Mesa Varsity Cheer’s state championships (the Cheer equivalent of CIF) happens this Saturday at the Home Depot Center in Carson. A total of five teams are competing with Mesa going in for a bid for nationals. When asked how they were preparing for this important competition, Summer Rudas answered, “Lots of practicing. It can get intense.”
While there are some nerves, the seniors seem pretty confident they’ll qualify. Summer Rudas said “I don’t care. It’s fun. I’m just excited, not nervous.” Kerlly Castellano claimed “I’m just mad that it’s [the competition] on my birthday.” If Cheer qualifies for nationals, this will be their first time actually competing. Two years ago, the Cheer team was honored with an award at nationals but didn’t actually compete. Nationals take place in Disney World, Florida. “We really want to win,” said Brooke Wanbaugh. Armed with a new competition coach, Varsity has been focusing more on competition this year and seem to be having a successful season so far.
To qualify, Mesa Cheer only has to obtain a certain score (placing doesn’t matter). Teams are scored on bobble (wobbling or falling), tightness, recover, and spirit. Judges are also said to be big on signs. The girls gave us a preview of their dance routine and showed us a few tricks such as the 360 tick tock. Kerlly Castellano and Selena Arreola even put in extra time to help with choreography.
“It’s hard, thinking about so many things at once,” Alyssa Hatton explains, “getting to your spot, getting your flyer up in the air, getting your jumps high. All at the same time having strong arms and a smile on your face.” Problems that face cheerleaders everyday, especially with State Companionships right around the corner, would be injury. If a girl were to get injured, they would have to be replaced by a Junior Varsity member, who would have to learn the routine. Because of this, Natalie Fowler is competing despite having an injured wrist. “I have no idea how bases do a routine and manage to lift another person up,” said flyer Summer Rudas.