Varsity cheerleaders were named Grand Champions at the NCA Midwest Competition on Feb. 12 at the St. Charles Family Arena.

Varsity cheer won first place, awarded Best Use of Stunts, and were named overall Grand Champions when they competed in the final competition of the year on Feb. 12 at the St. Charles Family Arena.

“This routine was first choreographed in June but we’ve added a lot of skills and rearranged it so that it’s a lot harder and more interesting,” three-year veteran Kennedy Stroker said.

The team has been working on this routine since their state placement was unsatisfactory.

“We decided that this competition was all about improving our scores from the scores we got at state,” Jordan Ihler said.

Due to the ice storm, the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) Midwest Competition was pushed back from its earlier date of Jan. 15. The team had its fair share of problems beyond the weather.

“We had to rearrange the routine about five times because people kept getting hurt or couldn’t attend because they were out of town,” Stroker said.

Three girls on the team also performed with their own cheer gym at the same competition.

For senior captain Madison Utley, this was a day full of many emotions.

“Competing for the last time was definitely one to remember,” Utley said. “I was sad but also very happy because we won! I am going to miss cheerleading and the competitions a lot.”

The team took home lots of hardware as they hit zero, meaning they were not given any deductions, received first placed in the advanced division, won best use of stunts, and were named Grand Champions out of the whole competition.

“It was bittersweet competing for the very last time, and by our surprise, we were awarded Grand Champs,” Ihler said. “We didn’t even know that was an award until they announced that we had won it. We definitely ended competition season on the best of terms.”

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