Cheerleading: Providence, Dwight earn titles
By Jeff Vorva For Sun-Times Media February 2, 2013 9:26PM
Kacy Murphy cries in joy and hugs teammate Blake Banks after Dwight was announced as state champion in the small school division. | Jeff Vorva~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 4, 2013 6:39AM
That was close.
Providence and Dwight won their first state titles by .70 and .20 of a point, respectively, while Lemont lost its bid for a fourth title by .12 of a point in the Illinois High School Association State Competitive Cheerleading Finals on Saturday at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington.
Providence, which rang up a 93.72 to beat out Marist’s 93.02, won its first large school title after finishing second in 2007, third in 2011, fourth in 2012 and fifth in 2009.
“This was the best surprise of my life,” Providence senior Bailey Seneni said. “We really didn’t expect it. That was the beauty of it. That was the best thing we ever experienced.”
Lockport finished fifth with a 92.22 and Lincoln-Way East took sixth with a 92.18.
Dwight, which qualified for the fifth time in school history, made it to the championship round for the first time and nudged out Rockridge 87.20-87.00 for the small division crown.
“We’ve worked hard for this,” Dwight senior Kacy Murphy said. “We have just one gym to practice in and getting gym time is harder than you would think. Sometimes our practices would go to 10:30 or 11 p.m.”
“I knew we had some talent on this team but I didn’t want them to get too confident or overconfident,” Trojans coach Angela Goley said. “A lot can happen in 2 minutes and 30 seconds. I just wanted the girls to worry about their own scores and what they can do rather than worry about what the other teams are doing.”
Reed-Custer took eighth in the small-school division.
Lemont took second in the medium school division with a 90.80, losing to Columbia (90.92), which moved up to the medium division after winning three straight small school titles. Lemont won medium division titles from 2009 to ’11 and finished third last year.
“People thought maybe Lemont lost it a little after last year,” Indians coach David Erlenbaugh said. “But we brought it. Our last performance was our best of the year.”
Joliet-area schools that missed the top-10 cut in the large division were Lincoln-Way North (12th), Plainfield South (16th) and Joliet West (18th). Lincoln-Way West took 12th in the medium division and Wilmington took 12th in the small division.
In the coed division, Bolingbrook, which came into the state meet with the top sectional score of 91.80, placed 14th with an 84.26.