On Jan. 13, the TPHS competition cheer team placed second in a regional competition at Tustin Union High School.
TPHS Cheer competed against the six other teams in their division, varsity show cheer intermediate (lg/super). They went up against schools like Temescal Canyon High School, La Costa Canyon High School, Valencia High School and Steele Canyon High School. The team prepared their routine for multiple weeks before competing.
“We hired an outside choreographer to work on our routine and we practiced every day during our seventh period Cheer P.E.,” head cheer coach and advisor, Suzy Chodorow, said. “We also had some outside practices at Cali Coast Gym in San Diego.”
Prior to the competition, the team met at TUHS to practice the routine before it was their turn to compete.
“[Warming up] was pretty hard work and it felt like forever,” Kirsten Loedel (12) said. “As we got closer to competition time, we gathered in the warm up room where you get one chance to run through your routine on mats before you compete…Right before we went on, the seniors gave a pep talk and got everyone ready to get out there.”
Practicing both at school and downtown, the team had “been working nonstop” to prepare. According to Amanda Yen (11), the “week leading up to the competition was stressful” due to several last-minute changes to their routine.
Since the start of the competition season, the team has had multiple injuries that forced them to reset formations, counts and stunt formations.
“We practiced the routine one last time and it wasn’t perfect, but this was our first competition of the season, so we knew that we would have time to work on this and improve our routine for the later competitions,” Loedel said.
Despite the complications the team encountered, they still managed to place in second place and hope to continue to perform well in their future competitions.
“When they announced our name we all sprinted out onto the floor and got into our positions,” Loedel said. “We gave it all we had for the couple minutes that we competed with our loudest voices and sharpest motions… Our strength in this competition was our energy and loud voices. We got the crowd excited. We also hit our jumps well. Everyone hit them at the same time with sharp motions. We looked powerful and unified.”
After performing the routine and learning that they placed in second, the team was “relieved” since they now knew what to expect in their upcoming competitions.
“I truly hope our team can just stay healthy with no more injuries,” Chodorow said. “We have a solid routine now and with continued practice and dedication, the girls can do amazingly well! We have a Showcase at Downey High School. It’s not a competition, but an avenue for school’s to showcase their routine and have judges give critiques. Our last competition will be at USA Nationals in Anaheim.”
TPHS Cheer qualified for USA Spirit Nationals at their previous competitions in January. Teams can qualify for the contest by recieving 75 percent of the total possible points at any USA qualifying event.
“Before Nationals, we hope to work on our stunting sequence and add back in the more difficult skills that we took out of our routine for the first competition, Loedel said. “We also want to add more tumbling because that gives you a higher score since a certain number of people per team are supposed to tumble in order to get maximum points.
Going forward, the team hopes to continue putting on a “clean routine.” On Feb. 17 they have a showcase at Downey High School and will compete at the USA Spirit Nationals from Feb. 23 to 25 in Anaheim, CA.