By NIKKI CONTRINO
Walking into a gym full of cheerleaders is an exciting experience, filled with bodies being thrown in the air, girls flipping and a lot of “Let’s Go Eagle Nation” shouting. All 24 girls, one guy and three coaches are giving it all this competition season and are ready to display all the talent they have.
The UMW Cheerleading squad is officially competing in Reach the Beach on April 2 and 3 in Ocean City, Maryland. The UMW cheer team is making great strides working to get the largest team they have had competition ready. With a male on the squad this year, the cheer team will be competing in the co-ed division and will be facing challenging teams they have not yet gone up against while competing.
Junior English and education major Katie Koth is excited for the competition weekend as a whole “it is so much fun to have a weekend away with such an awesome team. I am really excited to showcase how hard we have been working all year on stunts, tumbling and jumps.”
The team is going to be doing various stunts, such as one-leg stunts and twist-up stunts, in an attempt to ensure all the talent they have is expressed through their routine. The routine will consist of a dance, stunting, tumbling and a jump sequence, adding up to a total of two minutes and 30 seconds of exhausting, but rewarding work.
Each team member has grown exponentially over the course of the season and coach Kelsey Bracewell is confident that a successful performance in within the grasp of the cheer squad.
“I am exciting because it is my first competition,” said freshman business major Christine Mears. “I think we have a lot in store for everyone to see.”
Reach the Beach is a competition held every year for many different types of cheer squads. UMW cheer will be attending the All Star and College Nationals event in hopes of placing, first, second or third place in the competition. Reach the Beach also rewards three paid and six at-large bids to the Cheerleading Worlds competition.
“The pressure of competition has brought out the raw talent of our team,” Bracewell said.
“The confidence and pride that our team will gain from a successful performance will be a big win for UMW club sports.”
All of the team members have shown their commitment and dedication to the success of the team and are excited for the great things that will come from UMW cheer.