by: PHOTO COURTESY OF NORTH MARION CHEER - The North Marion cheer team completes their routine at Lake Oswego High School on Jan. 11. The Huskies placed third at the competition a week before taking second place at Lakeridge High School on Saturday.The North Marion cheer team is in full swing as the team prepares for its fourth competition of the season Saturday at Jesuit High School.

The Huskies are seeking to build upon last year’s second-place finish at the state championships while the team retools with seven new members on the 11-girl roster. Though the team lacks the experience of previous North Marion teams that won six straight state championships from 2007-12, second year coaches Sadie Johnston and Ashley Murray feel the girls have all the tools necessary to compete at a championship-caliber level.

“As the coach, my goal is to see the continual improvement from day to day,” said Murray. “If that happens, then I feel that our team goal is not unattainable.”

Thus far, Murray is seeing the steady development of her team each week, which is translating into tangible results on the floor. A week after the Huskies placed third at Lake Oswego High School on Jan. 11, North Marion finished less than a point out of first place in their third competition of the year at Lakeridge on Saturday.

The Huskies placed second in the 4A division with a score of 47.83, just a hair behind competition champion La Salle Prep, which led the way with a score of 48.67. The two teams were head and shoulders above the rest of the competition – the team from Taft finished in a distant third place with 36.50 points.

The second-place finish came despite the difficulty of re-working some of the stunts on the fly to make up for an injured player who could not compete.

“Jasmin Correa stepped up and was able to help her team out in a huge way,” said Murray. “She learned all the changes in record time, so we were able to still perform all of our stunts.

“Overall they did pretty good,” she continued. “We weren’t at the top of our game today performance-wise, but I am so proud of them for making so many changes so quickly and doing as well as they did.”

The Huskies will continue to work on their routine as the season progresses toward the state championship competition in Portland on Feb. 15. North Marion will compete this Saturday at Jesuit High School, followed by a trip to Clackamas High School the following weekend on Feb. 1

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