Competing in Columbia, the Borgia cheerleading squad captured its sixth state championship Sunday at the Hearnes Center.
Borgia was the only area team to win at the Missouri Cheerleading Coaches Association championship event held Saturday and Sunday in Columbia.
“This is my sixth state title and I think each year I get more and more emotional,” Borgia Head Coach Sandi Gildehaus said. “To know the pain-tears-fight that each team puts in to their win is something very special. When I hand out the state awards and see the pride in their eyes, that’s why I do it. I take such pride in calling my team state champs — it is truly an honor to be this team’s coach.”
Borgia won the Class 3 Large Division with Eldon, Kirksville and Mexico following.
Other area teams competing were:
• Washington placed fifth in Class 4 Small;
• Pacific was fifth in Superlarge; and
• Union ended ninth in Class 3 Small.
Washington finished behind Fort Osage, Winnetonka, Neosho and Farmington.
“We had a couple slip-ups that resulted in penalties, but overall I was very happy with our performance,” Washington Head Coach Katelyn Huber said. “We are already in planning mode for next year, and are looking to make improvements in a couple of crucial areas.”
Pacific finished behind Staley, Raymore-Peculiar, Wentzville Liberty and Republic.
Sikeston won the Class 3 Small Division title, one of the biggest divisions in the meet.
This was Borgia’s fifth championship in a row (sixth overall) and Gildehaus said her team had to overcome adversity.
“It was a very exciting weekend,” she said. “I could not be more proud of this team. We have battled some injuries this season but these girls have truly worked together to make this dream a reality.”
Borgia had to make a last-minute switch following an injury Saturday.
“We lost junior Tasha Purschke to a dislocated kneecap at practice on Saturday,” Gildehaus said. “The team could have just given up, but they truly came together to completely rework the routine and fight together to make this happen. That level of commitment and fight is what makes this team very special. Knowing how hard these girls worked makes this win feel great.”
Borgia’s senior team captains, Elle Eggers and Jodi Kampschroeder, both were named to the all-state team along with junior Madelyn Bogler.
Juniors were Purschke, Bogler, Maggie Westhoff and Jessie Borovic.
Sophomores were Ashley Allemann, Tiffany May, Anna Elbert, Hannah Boehmer, Brooke Hellebusch, Amy Wunderlich, Anna Gildehaus, Grace West, Lily Elcan, Olivia Dulany and Sofia Drago. Hailey Kleekamp was the team’s lone freshman.
Gildehaus was assisted by Kara Ressel and Emily Holdmeier and helped by MacKenzie Huck, who worked the at practices and played the music.
Gildehaus said the program has great support.
“We have been so blessed at Borgia to have great athletes and parents that support the cheer program,” she said. “We had a huge crowd to support the team. There is nothing like looking out of the tunnel at the Hearnes Center and seeing the sea of bright yellow T-shirts. That truly is one of the best moments for the girls.”
Also making the all-state team were Pacific’s Kristen Chavana and Kaela Dauster and Union’s Rylee Schindler, Macie Walbrecht and Shelby Lewis.