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March 16, 2010 4:07 am

Cheerleaders stunt their way to first place

Written by Tribune Staff

Seven months of hard work and practice paid off for the Powell cheerleaders last week in Casper when their stunt routine earned the first-place nod from the judges at the state spirit competition.

“They went out and did an excellent job,” cheerleading coach Vicki Walsh said. “They really nailed their routine and I couldn't be prouder of them.”

Their routine earned 85 points from the judges, nearly five points more than runner-up Lyman.

Walsh said the team had expected Douglas to be their main competition, and Douglas “had a pretty good routine.” But when the judges announced their decision, Douglas finished in sixth place. Walsh said she wasn't sure what had happened, but she heard that the Douglas girls lost points for technical violations.

The team “did some different things” this year in response to their fifth-place finish last year, Walsh said.

“Our tumbling hurt us last year, so we worked on that” she said.

The team also did well with their non-stunt routine, finishing second to Mountain View, and Walsh said they were happy with that finish.

“The non-stunt is our fun one,” she said. “They work hard on it, but it's more relaxed.”

The win was especially gratifying for Walsh because several members of the team were competing for the first time at state.

“They have worked so hard this year, and they deserved all of it.”

The championship was the fifth won by Powell during Walsh's 11 years as their coach, and she said she is pretty proud of the girls for winning it.

“This group is just phenomenal,” she said. “I couldn't ask for anything more.”

As a result of their win, the Powell girls were able to perform before the crowd during Friday's semi-finals of the state basketball tournament, and they received an escort into Powell from the Powell Fire Department early Sunday morning.

“I think we probably woke people up,” Walsh said.