Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley

Niwot Cheerleaders take second at Northern League meet and prepare for return to state competition


December 9, 2016

On Nov. 1, the Niwot cheerleading squad traveled to Northridge High School in Greeley to compete in the 2016 Tri-Valley/Northern League Spirit Competition. The Cougars’ all-girl squad placed second at the meet, ahead of local rivals Longmont and Silver Creek. Thompson Valley, a perennial championship contender who took 5th overall in 4A in 2015, was the meet’s all-girl squad overall winner.

With a second place at regionals under their belt, the Cougar cheerleaders turned their attention to preparing for the 2016 state spirit competition, to be held Dec. 9-10 at the Denver Coliseum. It marks the first time Niwot has sent a cheer team to state since 2011. For first year head cheer coach Ashley Poindexter, returning to statewide competition is a milestone for the program.

“We are working on building up the program again,” she said. “The opportunity to compete at state this year is huge for our team.”

The Niwot “competition team” that will perform at the state meet consists of 12 members selected from the full cheer squad based on their “skill level and progress throughout the year,” Poindexter said. The Cougar cheerleaders who are not on the competition squad serve as alternates, and could be called on in case of an injury. This year’s state members are seniors Sydney Atkins, Nallely Baca-Diaz, Rachel Long , Yesenia Ramirez , and Shanti Stoughton; junior Madison Shelton; sophomores Siril Dahle, Sophia Jones, Kaitlin Knowlden, and Kayla Nowlin; and freshmen Heidi Black and Kimberley Perez. Alternates are senior Olivia Kunik, junior Claudia Lopez, sophomores Natalia Morales and Savannah Parrot, and freshmen Gladys Crespo, Hannah Knowlden, and Sage Nye.

In the state meet, the team’s competition routine is limited to two minutes 30 seconds, and must include at least one cheer and one dance demonstration. The routine can have a musical accompaniment of no longer than 90 seconds.

Poindexter is optimistic about her team’s chances at state, despite the long layoff from statewide contests.

“Most teams take years competing at state to build up the talent and experience to do well,” she said. “Based on our second-place finish at leagues, and noting that we had added a lot of difficulty to our routine since we competed at leagues, it is possible that we could be in the Top 10.But no matter how we finish, I’m proud of this team and continually impressed by the girls’ hard work and improvement.”

Niwot is currently scheduled to compete in the preliminary round of the state meet just after noon on Dec. 9.


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