The Voice

Cheerleaders Soar to First Place at Regionals

Atira Nair, Entertainment Editor

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Irvington cheerleading dominated the Regional Competition at Deer Valley High School on January 13 and brought home first place. The competition featured schools from around northern California and those even as far as Fresno.

The Vikings competed in the Group Stunt category where they performed one minute of stunts and tricks. The team had a wide variety of stunts on display such as backflips, 360 twists, and basket tosses.

Some obstacles during practice are being consistent with the new stunts, learning the 360 twist took some time and requires perfect timing, so that we had to practice repeatedly,” Head Coach Megan Ellefson said.

The cheer team made changes to their routine from past competitions by adding more transitions in and out of stunts and incorporating more daring stunts.

According to Lauren Mattingly, the team’s advisor, the team started preparation for the Deer Valley competition in October, practicing for two and a half hours a night four times a week.

The team beat last year’s defending national champions, Amador Valley High School.

“When you’re up against that big of competition and they’re really, really good, it was one of those things that we didn’t know what place we would get,” Mattingly said. “And when we got first place it was the best feeling because all of their hard work paid off.”

Ellefson stated that the Irvington cheerleaders’ technique and tough routine filled with new and daring stunts were the reasons that they were able to win first place this year.

We have a very special group of girls this year,” Ellefson said. “They are excellent performers and have the drive to win. Our goal from the beginning was to do this for the experience and to have fun.”

While the team won first place, Mattingly says that the team looks forward to improving their individual skills and continue improving in the future.

Individually, the girls want to work on certain techniques and strengths,” Mattingly said. “I really think if they keep going the way they’re going, keep working as hard as they’re working, and they work on their specific skills, I think we will do as well as we have in the past tournaments.”

The cheerleading team will focus on making it to the national competition in February and make the finals.

“They worked hard since day one with me, and in my entire coaching career I have never coached girls more dedicated, determined, and respectful,” Ellefson said.

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Cheerleaders Soar to First Place at Regionals