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Cheers to LOHS and Lakeridge

Lakers take second, Pacers land eighth in their divisions at nationals

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Lake Oswego High School Lakers power into second place in the Small Varsity Show Cheer Novice Division at United Spirit Association National Cheer Competition March 18-20 in Anaheim, Calif. The Lakers and the Pacers are among the best in the nation when it comes to cheer.

Lake Oswego and Lakeridge high schools’ cheer teams placed in the top 10 in their divisions at the United Spirit Association National Cheer Competition March 18-20 in Anaheim, Calif. LOHS took second in the Small Varsity Show Cheer Novice Division and Lakeridge was eighth in the Small Varsity Intermediate Division. Both schools faced off against 22 competitors in their respective divisions.SUBMITTED PHOTO - Lakeridge High Pacers cheer their way into eighth place out of 22 teams in the Small Varsity Intermediate Division.

“We are thrilled with the placement,” says Terrie Sheik, head cheer coach of the Lakers.

LOHS has never placed higher, Sheik says. And it was the best score Lakeridge has ever received, says Christine Cooper, head cheer coach of the Pacers.

“For having such a young team — eight of the 11 had never been on a national competition mat — I was very proud of their performance and result,” Cooper says.

Routines are 2 ½ minutes or less and involve teams, resplendent in their various school cheer uniforms, seeking to impress judges with cheer moves, dancing, stunts, jumps and tumbling.

Five other Oregon teams joined Lakeridge and LOHS at the United Spirit Association (USA) National Cheer Competition. The event is one of several dance and cheer competitions for children and teens that USA offers.

“It was a wonderful competition with all the Oregon teams supporting one another,” Sheik says.

The teams also performed well in February at the Oregon School Activities Association’s State Cheerleading Championships, an entirely separate competition. Laker cheerleaders nabbed third and the Pacers snagged fourth in the 6A Small Division at Portland’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

For seniors on each team, the USA event was an end of a journey.SUBMITTED PHOTO - The Pacers take a knee and show off their school's team name while competing at nationals.

“As a senior, it was definitely bittersweet,” says Wesley Wells, Lakeridge cheer team co-captain. “It's sad to know it was my last time on the mat with such an amazing team, but a national placement is not a bad way to go out.”

Darby Buhlmann, co-captain of the LOHS team, says this year has been special.

“We just loved each other as a team and that is what brought us together,” Buhlmann says, “and that’s how we ended up getting third at state and second at nationals, and, with the support of coaches, it was just a really awesome year.”

It is the last time she’ll be doing cheerleading as she’s a senior and does not plan to pursue the sport in college.

“I’m just so happy about where we ended as a team and where I ended as an individual,” she says. “I feel like it was a great way to end my cheer experience.”SUBMITTED PHOTO - Lakers demonstrate their pyramid-building talents at the Portland International Airport during their nationals trip.

Young team members are brimming with excitement for the future.

“I'm proud of my team for being eighth in the nation,” says Peyton Miller, a junior and co-captain of the Lakeridge team. “It's the best we have placed at nationals since I've been in the program. I’m so excited heading into my senior year because I know that this young team will only get better! Expect big things from Pacer cheer next year!”

By Jillian Daley
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