Cheer Team Home from Nationals

Olivia Taylor, Sports Writer

Eagan cheerleaders wrapped up their season two weekends ago with an appearance in the National High School Cheerleading Championship. The competition was held at a venue that many Minnesotans would be jealous of: the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida.

Although nearly 650 teams from across the country performed at the event, the competition was not as intense as one might have predicted. Senior Ngan Ngyuen’s description of the atmosphere brought the word fellowship to mind. “The best part was being able to go down there with my team and see all of the Minnesota teams sit in front of the stage and support each other,” she shared. “Can you say Minnesota nice?!”

The Wildcats did their routine one time, placing 14th in their division. Despite missing out on advancing to the next day of the competition, Nguyen said that the girls still felt their hard work had finally paid off.

Eagan qualified for Nationals by placing first at the Universal Cheerleaders Association Regionals in Iowa. From that point on, the girls had three lengthy and grueling practices per week in order to fine-tune their routine. “Instead of focusing on just hitting the stunts correctly, we worked on technique and sharpness of formations and motions,” Nguyen remarked.

Nguyen also stated that while the cheer season seemed to go by quickly, Eagan came far in that time. The team struggled struggled early on due to a few injuries, “but we managed to pull through, and ended with the best performance we’ve ever given.”

The warm vacation wasn’t so bad, either. According to Nguyen, it was a great final opportunity to bond with the team. “I’ll definitely miss seeing my crazy girls every single day,” she commented. “I thought I was getting sick of them on the trip, but I already miss them like crazy.”