Friday, 04 March 2011 00:00
The MacArthur Cheerleaders thought that their dreams had come true in December, when the team qualified for UCA’s (Universal Cheerleading Association) National Competition. They couldn’t have imagined what was yet to come.
Qualifying for Nationals meant they would compete against some of the best-ranked teams in the country. All season, the cheerleaders, coached by Lisa Nessler, competed locally at LICCA (Long Island Cheerleading Coaches Association) to prepare for this tremendous event. At the end of their local competitions, the MacArthur Cheerleaders were ranked second on Long Island. Four days later, they packed their bags for Orlando.
On Saturday, Feb. 12 the MacArthur Cheerleaders were scheduled to compete at the Indiana Jones Theater in Hollywood Studios for UCA’s preliminary round, where one year earlier, MacArthur was eliminated.
Forty-five teams qualified for prelims on a national scale. Once the preliminary round was completed, MacArthur Cheerleading was ranked first in their division and advanced straight to finals without having to perform at semi-finals. This is the first time in the history of MacArthur Cheerleading that a team had made it this far on a national level.
The following afternoon, MacArthur prepared for UCA’s national competition. Thirty teams were eliminated between preliminaries and semi-finals. By Sunday, 45 teams were narrowed down to 15 teams to vie for first place in the nation.
The girls performed a nearly flawless routine and turned heads with their precise execution. One of the most exciting moments for the cheerleaders was before National Rankings were announced. They were standing on the finals mat surrounded by veteran teams that have been nationally ranked for up to 10 years. Not only did MacArthur make it past semi-finals, but also they were ranked ninth in the nation in UCA’s Medium Varsity Division 1.
Proudly holding their trophy and Nationally Ranked ribbon, Senior Captains Rebecca Anderson, Haylee Guarascio, Katie Jonny and Dominique Micheletti assured their teammates that they finally felt satisfied to graduate later this spring. They leave behind a ‘family’ that is nationally recognized and, most importantly, that left its heart on the competition mats all season long, echoing the team motto: “Inch by Inch, Stunt by Stunt, Until We’re Finished.”