LINCOLN CITY — It was a day to remember for the girls from Lincoln City’s competition cheer team.
Both teams walked away with top-three finishes, including a third and second-place award at the Jungle Lion Cheer Challenge, held at West Linn High School over the weekend.
“The Juniors had a spectacular day; we only missed second place by two points,” director and head coach Tonia Anderson said. “As I was watching them, I could feel myself just wanting to rush the mat in excitement because they were hitting each and every stunt, and the tumblers were hitting each pass full out.
“I was shouting the counts and hoping that they could hear me yell and just kept getting higher and higher from my kneeling position in front of them, knowing that they were almost to their ending pyramid.”
The girls continued their run of form after two third-place finishes earlier this year.
The Junior team missed second place by a few points, while the Mini’s team was on the cusp of winning the first-place award.
Overall, both teams are fun to watch and often bring the crowd to their feet. But one Mini in particular, Mariela (Ela) Hernandez, stood out.
“She has the most remarkable facials and the highest of jumps for the age of five,” Anderson said. “Your eyes just seem to go right to her. All of these young nine athletes are incredible. These girls hit the most amazing ending pyramid that even the fans in the stand were screaming for them. Coach Hernandez was jumping at the end of the routine for her team. It was a great site to see for all.”
On the Juniors team, two girls were asked to complete a stunt that they only had a week to learn. But the pressure never got to Sophia Cortes and Chaeli Nguyen as the pair came out ready to go. They nailed their stunts and scored high marks for the team.
“This weekend they proved to me they got it. I could not be more proud of these two junior ladies for working hard. The mini team also reworked their routine,” Anderson said. “They worked hard to take new to the mat this weekend, and it also paid off. They hit a solid new ending pyramid that their head coach was a little worried about. Even when the Minis left the mat ,you could hear their voices saying, ‘We did it coach we hit the pyramid.’”
The day itself featured numerous strong teams and near-perfect routines, but the Tigers from Lincoln City were right where they belonged.
“I am so proud of the cheerleaders thus far this season,” Anderson said. “We have 17 remarkable cheerleaders, and I hope that the community will take the opportunity to come and watch one of their performances.”