The Sailors' cheer team traveled to the state competition Saturday at the Denver Coliseum. Steamboat finished 14th out of 34 teams from Class 4A

Courtsey photo

The Sailors' cheer team traveled to the state competition Saturday at the Denver Coliseum. Steamboat finished 14th out of 34 teams from Class 4A

Steamboat cheerleaders bring their best at state

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The cheer is here

Amy Satkiewicz will be hosting a youth cheerleading clinic Jan. 12 for children grades K-5. The clinic will run from 9 a.m. to noon in the Steamboat Springs High School west gymnasium, concluding with a halftime performance during the 5:30 p.m. boys basketball game vs. Glenwood Springs. Cost is $30 and includes a T-shirt and game entrance. Contact Satkiewicz at amysatkiewicz@yahoo.com.

2007-08 team

Corri Bradbury*

Mandy Luchini*

Nicole Rende*

Mataya Flaharty

Genna Bradley

Journee Heinert

Madison Struble

Emily Polster

Alyssa Rogers

Ally Wetzler

Hannah Ramirez

Camille Sachs

Catherine Fischer

Kate Rusk

Nastasja Rost

*captains

— While the intricacies of a flawless opening stunt series - highlighted by a basket toss into a full twist back up into an extension with a double twist down - may be unfamiliar to most, the 15 girls on Steamboat Springs High School's competitive cheerleading squad know that details make all the difference.

Before a Denver Coliseum crowd of about 2,000 at Saturday's Class 4A State Spirit Championships, the Sailors nailed all three of their stunt series, and received no point deductions, in the 2 1/2-minute routine that defined their competitive season.

"The hardest part is the stunts - once we hit that last stunt, all we had was the dance, so the energy goes up that much more," said junior Alyssa Rogers.

Steamboat finished 14th out of 34 teams from Class 4A. The routine earned the Sailors 82.67 points, less than four points away from qualifying for the finals by earning a spot in the top six. Mullen won the competition, followed by Broomfield and Glenwood Springs.

Steamboat co-coach Amy Satkiewicz, a former Iowa State University cheerleader, cheered the team's accomplishment by noting that nine of the team's members were underclassmen who saw the state's biggest competitive stage for the first time.

In the final weeks before the competition, the girls decided to add bigger stunts to a routine they had been rehearsing since August, when more than 25 students tried out for the competition squad.

"We took two of our three stunt series to a higher level," Satkiewicz said. "We went back and stepped up to a higher difficulty."

At the focal point of many of these challenging stunts is sophomore Genna Bradley, an accomplished gymnast and diver who qualified for last season's state diving championships as a freshman.

"We have some good tumblers and we had young girls that were eager to do well and very motivated to work hard along with some strong seniors," Satkiewicz said.

Rogers attributed the team's success to leadership from four seniors - Corri Bradbury, Mataya Flaharty, Mandy Luchini and Nicole Rende - who were part of the talented 2006-07 squad that placed ninth.

"They really try to calm your nerves and tell everyone, 'we'll do great, it's not what place we get but about having fun,'" Rogers said of the returning seniors. "Then toward the last minutes before we went, we really became a team."

Satkiewicz said that while the inspired performance concludes the Sailors spirit competition season, the varsity and junior varsity squads' cheerleading seasons will continue with Steamboat's winter sports.

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