SSHS cheerleaders rally spirits at state meet

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— Just a few hours after watching the football team fall in the state finals, the members of the Steamboat Springs High School cheerleading squad took the floor at the Denver Coliseum and did their best to lift spirits.

“We were down,” senior cheerleader Hannah Ramirez said. “We know all the guys on the team, and we watched and felt bad for them. We wanted to do well for them, and we wanted to represent Steamboat Springs at our competition.”

The Steamboat team also hoped to bring home a title, or at least a top-10 showing, from the Colorado State 4A Spirit Championships. The team just missed that goal, placing 12th, but it did manage to improve on last year’s finish.

“It was hard,” coach Shannon Uris said about performing after the football game. “But the girls showed up, regrouped and performed really well. They showed a lot of heart, and I’m really proud of them.”

This year’s title went to Thompson Valley, which scored 97 points in the finals to earn the 2009 4A spirit title. Regis Jesuit was second at 94.67, and Glenwood Springs came in third at 94 points.

Uris thought Steamboat’s performance was good enough to place in the top 10, and she was a little surprised when the judges placed the Sailors 12th with a score of 83.33.

“We didn’t make any technical errors, and I didn’t see a lot of places where we could have improved our routine,” Uris said. “But there were a lot of really good teams at state, and the competition was really tight. I’m just happy that we nailed our routine, which is the first time we’ve done that in a few years.”

This year’s team includes nine seniors: Alisha Repollo, Alexandra Wetzler, Brittany Salazar, Charlotte Letson, Genna Bradley, Hannah Ramirez, Skyler Barry, Journee Heinert and Lyndsey Chea. Wetzler suffered an injury in practice the week before the state championship routine, but she showed up on Saturday ready to go, Uris said.

Juniors are Catherine Fischer, Kaitlin McBride, Emma Lichtenfels, Erin Duran, Kate Rusk and Kendall Yeager. Sop­homores are Brittani Beck­with, Brandi Salazar, Sydney Finkbohner, Mary Mullen, Lin­nea Franke and Hadlie Quick.

“I’m happy with 12th place. There wasn’t much we could have done better,” Ramirez said. “I’m really proud of what we did and super excited about what we accomplished.”

Saturday’s competition mar­ked the end of the team’s competitive season. The members will continue to cheer at winter and springs sporting events.

The Steamboat cheerleading team finished first at the regional championships in the medium varsity, non-tumbling division. The finish earned the team an invitation to the national championships early next year in Florida, but the squad will not have the money to make the trip.

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