THORNWOOD, N.Y. The Westlake High School cheerleading team nationally placed third in their division at the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship.
Placing third in the nation is truly undefinable, said head coach Lauren McNamara. It is an honor to finish that high against top ranked teams in the country.
The competition took place at Disney Worlds Wide World of Sports in Orlando on Feb. 11-12. The team of 17 girls placed seventh in the semi-finals of the competition, which boosted them into the finals where they took home the hardware with a bronze finish. The team competed this year in the Medium-Sized Varsity Non-Tumbling Division. Last year, the team finished second at the same national competition in the Small Varsity Non-Tumbling Division. McNamara said it was a team goal to place in the top three in the new division this year.
I knew the team had it in them to succeed, McNamara said. From our first practice of the season to our last, the goal was to place within the top three at nationals.
Senior co-captain Camille Dottore said that the chance to compete against other high schools from across the nation was an honor.
Competing against all different teams from other states is awesome because we get to see how the other teams perform and how we can compare to them, Dottore said. We definitely had a lot of nerves going in but we were more excited to get on the mat and shine.
The competition was the last event for seven Westlake seniors. Senior co-captain Gianna DiTomasso said it was good to go out on top.
This competition means a lot to the team and especially to the seniors because its their last national competition, DiTomasso said. This year everyone really put their all into the season and in the end it paid off by receiving third place.
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