It was a successful weekend in Columbia for two area cheerleading programs.
Washington High School brought home a first-place award and Borgia placed second in its division at the Missouri Cheerleading Coaches Association state championships held at the Hearnes Center.
“It’s an awesome accomplishment for our school and great for the kids. They worked hard and are very excited,” said Washington Activities Director Bill Deckelman. “We’re proud of them. They did a great job representing our school.”
Washington, coached by Risa Thorburg and Erin Gaebe, captured the Class 4 Small Division championship, winning over William Chrisman, North Kansas City, Jackson and Oak Park.
Competing for Washington were Jenna Backs, Brittany Crismon, Abby Diederich, Haily Grieseneauer, Clarissa Gurnow, Jaryn Love, Rebecca Lowes, Kaylynne Luck, Katelyn Mittler, Kristen Mittler, Ali Proemsey, Carli Reed, Jenna Riegel, Jaysie Stigge, Emily Stricker, Madison Tolle, Jenni Trentmann and Crystal Whited.
“Erin and I are extremely proud of these girls,” Thorburg said. “They have worked incredibly hard and are very deserving of a state championship.”
“Huge congratulations to the Washington cheerleaders,” said Borgia Coach Sandi Gildehaus. “They did great! I told Risa that I had no doubt that they could win. Those girls worked hard and we could not be happier for them. It was fun to sit back and watch their division compete. I’m a former Blue Jay cheerleader, so they made me so proud to be WHS graduate.”
Borgia placed second in the Class 3 Small Division to Grain Valley. Seneca took third while Moberly was fourth and Odessa finished fifth.
Grain Valley won the Class 4 Large Division title last year while Borgia had been the defending champion in Class 4 Small. Both were moved down this year.
“Our division is one of the toughest in the state so every point the judges award matters,” Gildehaus said. “Unfortunately, for us, one point made the difference on Sunday. On the bus ride home from Columbia, we were already planning for next year.”
Gildehaus reported there were 13 teams in the division.
“I think the entire crowd at the Hearnes Center was pretty shocked when they announced us as second place because the entire place went silent,” Gildehaus said. “I told the team after awards that 12 other teams would love to trade places with us right now so be proud to be a Borgia cheerleader.”
Competing for Borgia were Grace Walde, Shannon Mohesky, Andrea Feldmann, Emily Holdmeier, Sara Monroe, Hanna Michels, Tess Killmade, Brooke Blythe, Brooke Schrader, Claire Korba, Rachel Fredrick, Allie Wilson, Holly Brinker and Alexis Roberts.
Other members of the team who were in the competition are Jenna Hellebusch, Kelly Piontek, Julie Wilmoth, Carrie Leach, Jill Kampschroeder and Dorian Knight.
Both schools advanced to the state championships by qualifying at the St. Louis Regional competition held at Borgia during the summer..
“The city of Washington should be proud to have two amazing cheer teams,” Gildehaus said. “People are starting to ask what we put in the water around here!”