Cheer, state week

Haley Newcomb, Assistant Media Editor

West High’s competition cheerleaders began what the team calls “state week” by participating at the Triton Challenge, Oct. 28 in Fort Dodge. The challenge was an all day event, and is considered a warm up for state by the team. The cheer team takes videos of the routine they perform at the challenge and rewatch it to perfect what they need to for state.

“When we were going into the Triton competition, I wasn’t feeling very confident, but as soon as we started doing our routine I became confident,” sophomore cheerleader Avery Mattson said.

Although Triton is not a qualifier for state, the team can decide if they would like to participate in the challenge. West received third at the challenge this year. The cheerleaders had practice every day leading up to state on Nov. 4 in Des Moines. There, the groups were scored on their stunts, tumbling, jumps, partner stunts and cleanliness.

“When our stunt group found out we got first, everyone was really happy and clapping for us,” junior cheerleader Miranda Schwien said.

The co-ed stunt performance placed first out of three teams, and consisted of junior Miranda Schwien, senior Aaron Gilliland and senior Ricky Vance. The girls group consisting of junior Naomi Walker, senior Anna Hazelett, senior Gracie Gutierrez and sophomore Katie Roseman placed second.

Overall, the team placed fourth at state.

“Competition practices began over the summer, and we had practices everyday over state week. I was still nervous and excited for the outcome, and I’m glad to have accomplished what we did with a team that has basically become like family to me,” sophomore cheerleader Kami Seago said.