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Cheers to fourth in the nation
The cheerleading team returned from Orlando with lasting memories and a fresh title
May 6, 2021
A typical Florida weekend in mid-April. The sun out, perfect for a trip to Disney World…and a chance to compete against cheerleading teams from across the country. From April 23-25, the Robinson cheerleaders traveled to Orlando to participate in the 2021 Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) Nationals, eager to show off their perfected routines and stunts. But the magic didn’t stop there. The Knights went on to place fourth in the nation, commemorating their first time at the competition.
The trip began with an arrival in Orlando Thursday evening. The team practiced and discussed their plan for the weekend, then rested up for the upcoming events. On Friday, the Knights competed, scoring 82 out of 100 points. The following day was dedicated to team bonding at Animal Kingdom, trading bows and pom poms for sneakers and shorts. On Sunday, the Knights competed again and scored 84, averaging out to fourth place.
“I was so overwhelmed with emotion when I found out our national ranking,” Junior Captain Alison Quigley (’22) said. “We have worked so hard this year and faced many challenges that were not usually an issue such as responsibly and safely dealing with the pandemic.”
The team faced their fair share of challenges preparing for the event. Days before, teammates were quarantined, on top of Nationals being pushed back two months. While the season was unprecedented, the team is pleased with their results, and look forward to improving their ranking in upcoming years.
“While I am very happy with our placement, we had our minds and hearts set for first,” Head Coach Lexie George Lowry said. “However, with this being our first time at Nationals, we got some expected nerves out on the first day in [semifinals]. Getting some of our jitters during our first performance lead for an amazing finals routine!”
With two varsity players getting quarantined just days before the competition, two freshmen stepped up: Addy McDowell and Amelia Kempton. The two found out they’d be participating on April 19. Amidst nerves and being some of the youngest on the stage, the two attended practices as well as worked individually to catch up.
“This experience helped me work well under pressure and learn how to pick up routines quickly,” Kempton said. “I also feel like I got closer to a lot of the girls on the team, which is so important in a sport where everyone has to work together the whole time.”
This accomplishment sets the stage for the 2021-2022 season, one that both team and coaches are looking forward to as an opportunity to set a new goal: first place.
Now that we understand the caliber and talent level at Nationals, I believe this will be a huge motivating factor to increase our difficulty levels for our routines next year,” Lowry said. “We are so excited!”