Marian’s Cheer and Dance teams competed at the Nebraska State Cheer and Dance Championships on Friday, Feb. 17 at the Heartland Event Center in Grand Island, Neb.
The teams loaded a yellow school bus the day before the competition and drove to Grand Island. “We practiced outside in the grass of the hotel parking lot the night before,” sophomore Laura Tooley said.
The state competition began at 9 a.m. but the first warm up time was at 8:30 a.m. “We woke up around 6:15 a.m. and it took about an hour to get ready,” freshman Holly McCutcheon said.
Dance Team was the first Marian team to take the state stage. Nearly two and a half hours after the competition started, Dance Team finally had the spotlight. “I was a little nervous before we went on, but we just told ourselves to have fun and do the best we could,” sophomore Jenna Grote said. The team was made of 15 girls. “The routine was very polished and crisp despite a few minor execution issues!” Dance Team Moderator Mrs. Michelle Delisi said.
Both Cheer teams had to wait until the competition was well under way before performing. “The nerves [before performing] did build tremendously. Watching the competition just made me even more nervous because I knew I would be competing against those great teams really soon,” junior Mia Hamilton said.
Cheer’s first performance, their Game Day routine, happened a little after 11 a.m. Their
next performance wasn’t scheduled until 3:41 p.m. “The large chunk of time between Game Day and Tumbling was awkward. We were in the arena for a total of seven hours. It was very easy to get bored or go over on your data limits! It was nerve racking just because I had nothing to do to distract me from my nerves,” Hamilton said.
“The dance team routine choreography was creative and challenging and used the team’s dance abilities to their fullest. I thought the cheerleaders Game Day Routine was very polished and executed very well. Their tumbling routine was very good as well. All in all, both groups were a Class Act!” Delisi said. Both Cheer teams earned runner up spots, falling to Millard West in both Game Day and Tumbling. Dance Team placed third behind Millard North and Lincoln East in the Pom A category.
Awards didn’t start until a quarter after 5 p.m. “The worst part of the entire day was waiting for the results. I rewatched our performance so many times! The whole team watched the other dance teams anxiously,” senior Laura Tatten said.
Marian’s cheer team is no stranger to the state competition. Dance Team, on the other hand, competed for the second time in nearly 15 years. Placing third as newcomers was an impressive feat. “I think getting third is a great stepping stone for our team’s future. We went from not going to state at all, to seventh and then to third, so I am excited to see what the future has in store,” Grote said.
“I hope future teams will use this third place win as an inspiration to always dance their best, continue to challenge themselves and stay focused and persistent! I had no doubt in my mind that this team would place high! I’m so proud of them!” Delisi said.