By Jessica Groover
It was confidence, repetition and a close bond that cheerleaders from the Victory! Cheerleading all-star senior team credit for their recent win at the 2008-09 Cheersport National Championship in Atlanta.
The team of 20 girls, ages 14 to 18, competed against eight teams in the senior small, Level 4 Division II. There were 842 teams at the entire championship.
The team was judged on tumbling, stunts, dance, presentation and other factors during its routine, which was two minutes and 32 seconds long.
Lauren Peetz, the co-owner and director of Victory!, choreographed the routine, and Jazmin Skipper and John Tomlinson are the coaches.
After the first round of the championship Feb. 14, team members found out they were in first place.
“It was definitely a lot of pressure knowing we had to keep up that (placement) and not mess up the second day,” said cheerleader Kelly Tinsley, 17.
The next day, the team finished and won by 18.5 points.
“It was amazing because we really wanted it, and we worked hard for it,” said cheerleader Katherine Dry, 18.
For Tinsley and Dry, the win was especially important because they, along with six other team members, are seniors in high school, and it was their last time participating on this team in the competition.
It was also memorable for Victory! after nine years of competing in the championship and coming in seventh place last year.
“To say it is a big deal is an understatement,” said Jason Peetz, co-owner and director of Victory! “It’s something we’ve waited for for nine years.”
• Contact reporter Jessica Groover: 704-789-9152.