The College’s cheerleading squad placed sixth in the National Cheerleading Association (NCA) Collegiate Nationals on Thursday, April 3, in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Only five competitors took part in the event, as the squad voted not to attend the competition as a whole. Juniors Christina Calabrese, Allison Rosinski and Amanda Cagliostro, along with senior Cathy Chatenka and sophomore Melissa Haggett, attended the $3,000 trip which lasted from April 12-9.
“We’re pretty happy to be sixth in the nation,” Calabrese said. “It was awesome just to come down here and see the best around the nation compete. We wish our whole team could’ve been here.”
Calabrese felt bad the whole team didn’t go. “It’s disappointing, considering we are a college cheerleading team and we voted not to go,” Calabrese said.
“It doesn’t say much for us as a whole. It’s the first time in a while that we actually had a coach, but maybe the other girls just didn’t know what to expect. Hopefully, this can set an example for the future,” she added.
Last year, the team didn’t have a coach, and the year before that, he was not available regularly.
The group sent in a tape to a cheerleading committee in January in order to see if they would qualify for the competition.
They participated in the stunt competition. Out of around 100 tapes sent in, they were seeded ninth out of 12 teams to perform. The non-stop, 45-second stunt routine, featuring multiple basket tosses and single-based stunts, helped the squad rise in rank to sixth place.
“This is the type of competition you see on ESPN,” Chatenka said. “All divisions compete in this, and schools that place first or second in events are shown on television. States around the country come and compete.”
“It was a great experience to go against Division I teams, because the talent is really amazing and we don’t get to see stuff like this up north,” Rosinski said. “There were some stunts they did that we never even heard of before, so it was pretty exciting.”
The trip was partially funded by the Athletic Department’s Cheerleading Account. The rest of it was paid for by the cheerleaders and by local business sponsors.
San Diego St. University captured first place in the stunt competition, while Framingham State University came in seventh, just behind the Lions.
Calabrese called coach Noreen Dara (who was unable to attend the competition) after the competition was over, and said Dara was, excited and proud of them to be the first group to go through this. This was the first year that an all-girl group stunt was part of the competition.
“It’s better that only us five went,” Chatenka said, “because if the others didn’t want to come, they probably wouldn’t have put all the necessary time and effort that goes into it.”
The stunt routine will be on display Thursday, April 10, in Packer Hall at 6:30 p.m., as part of the “Dancers for Cancer” fundraiser.