Cheerleaders attend Nationals competition

On Thursday, February 5, the New Berlin West Cheerleaders woke up at 3 in the morning to catch a flight to Florida for the National High School Cheerleading Championship. It was the first time in New Berlin West history that the girls competed at the national level.

After arriving at the airport around 5:30 am, the team was wide awake and ready to travel. Their flight left Milwaukee at 7:45 and arrived in Orlando, Florida just after noon. Although they were there to compete, the girls were also given time to appreciate the weather and explore the parks.

The team enjoyed an exciting day exploring the parks, including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and the waterparks. They woke up again early on Friday to have practice with the other Wisconsin teams attending the competition- Greendale, Appleton North, Hamilton, Sun Prairie, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin Lutheran, Franklin, Westosha Central, and Brookfield Central.

“It was really exciting to practice with all these teams that have been going to nationals for so many years,” junior Natalie Harty said. “We got to practice next to teams from all over the country.”

Finally, competition day had arrived, and the team was ready to go. After preforming a great routine at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, the girls watched other teams and waited patiently for results. These results would reveal the 22 out of 46 teams that would advance to semi-finals. When New Berlin West was announced as one of the teams moving on, the girls were ecstatic.

“Teams don’t usually make it to semi-finals on their first year, so we weren’t expecting to. We were surprised and happy when we found out we advanced,” senior Megan Rentmaster said.

The team prepared to compete again in just a few hours, fixing any problems the judges had mentioned on the score sheets. They performed their routine again later that night, but unfortunately, it was not their best one. When teams going to finals were announced, they did not make the cut. Although it was a disappointment, New Berlin West still claimed 19th in the nation, which was a huge accomplishment.

“We weren’t even sure if we would make it to semi-finals, so I am very proud of my team for making it so far,” senior Ally McGinn said.

The team spent Sunday watching the teams who made it to finals. On Monday, the girls packed up their things and headed back to the harsh Wisconsin winter.

The entire trip was a learning experience for the team, and they were all proud of their success. Later in February, the girls took 2nd place at Regionals and at State for a successful end of the season.