The Moffat County High School cheerleading and dance teams went to the National Cheerleading Association regional competition in Grand Junction mainly to practice their routines for the state competition in December. It's not often that a team gets to come home with third- and first-place trophies for a practice.
"I wanted us to go to see where we were at before state," said Suzie Lord, the coach for both teams. "I was impressed to see how well we did."
The cheerleaders finished third out of six teams. Their score of 7.1 out of 10 earned them a bid to the NCA nationals, but their interest, as Lord said, was to tune up for the Colorado High School Activities Association sanctioned state competition.
"Things were pretty tight for our routine," junior cheerleader Diana Lara said. "We need to make our routine a little more advanced before state."
After a fifth-place finish in 2001 the Bulldog cheerers slipped out of the top 10 last year. Lara said she thought this year's team could improve on last year's finish.
"It we have some good practices the next couple of weeks I think we can do better," she said.
While the cheerleading team is experienced in competitions, the dance had never competed -- until this weekend. There was only one other squad in the competition but junior Kelsey Bauman said the number of teams wasn't a factor.
"We put pressure on ourselves to perform despite how many teams there were," she said. "I think we're pretty happy with how well we did for our first competition."
Since the dance team had never participated in a competition before, its routine had to be tweaked some from what it was used to performing.
"We had to make sure that we had all of the guidelines required in the NCA booklet," Bauman said. "For state we probably need to put more pom and less hip hop in our performance."
Next up for both teams is the Colorado State Spirit Championships Dec. 12-13 in Denver.
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org