All about team spirit

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Showing team spirit was not a problem for the members of the Steamboat Springs High School cheerleading team Saturday at Mesa State College in Grand Junction.

The 15 members of the team tumbled and cheered their way to a first-place finish in the large school, all-girls division at the National Cheerleading Association regional meet. It was the second year in a row the team has won the regional.

"I'm really proud of these girls," coach Kathy Jones said. "The competition was very tough, and these girls did a great job."

Steamboat beat Dove Creek in its division and almost edged Montrose, who competed in the large school coed division, for the overall title.

Montrose finished with 8.59 points and took home the overall title. Steamboat was a close second in the race for overall honors with 8.47 points.

Sailor captain Kim Jones said Steamboat's all-girls squad should be proud of its efforts since the team was at a slight disadvantage against the Montrose squad, which is nearly half boys.

"They could do a lot more stunts and throws than us," Kim Jones said. "So they could have scored a lot more points. For us to be that close was a great accomplishment."

Steamboat did win the best use of tumbling in a routine. More than half the girls on the Steamboat team can do tumbles.

The Sailors will start preparing for the state meet, Dec. 12-13 in Denver.

Kim Jones is expecting a busy two weeks as the team plans on changing parts of its routine before making a run at a state title.

"Everybody is excited because we haven't been to state," Kim Jones said. "We know the competition is going to be tougher, but our goal is to make it into the top six."

Steamboat will compete in the 4A division at the highly competitive state meet, which means the team will face a larger field of bigger schools than at the regional.

-- To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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