The Soldotna High School cheerleading team won its second straight championship in the Small Varsity Division at the 18th annual Spirit Coaches Association State Championships at Buckner Field House at Fort Richardson Nov. 11 and 12.
The championships included 437 participants, 51 coaches and 3,000 spectators.
Several other schools from the Kenai Peninsula competed in the Small Varsity Division, which is for squads with 12 members or less. Skyview finished fifth, Nikiski finished sixth and Ninilchik was ninth.
The state championship continued a recent run of success for the Stars, who also won the 2003 Powerade Basketball Cheerleading Competition.
Soldotna coach Jenniffer Rosin, who has coached the Stars for three years and stepped down after the state competition, said Soldotna's success is because of the dedication of the team members.
"These girls practice five days a week, two to three hours a day, then they cheer games on top of that," Rosin said. "They also do community service and keep their grades up.
"They have a real will to succeed and do well."
Palmer finished second in the Small Varsity Division, while East was third. The routines are each 2 1/2 minutes long, with 1 1/2 minutes set to music and the other minute a crowd cheer. The routines involve tumbling, stunting, dances and jumps. The Stars didn't start putting together their routine until eight or nine weeks before the competition.
"East just had an outstanding routine," Rosin said. "We actually prepared ourselves that we would probably place in the top three.
"We didn't think we won first. East was outstanding. I didn't see Palmer's routine because I was warming up the team."
Rosin said her team was able to pick off first because the Stars had more difficulty in their stunting.
"It was great being able to coach this group of girls my last time out," Rosin said. "They held together through some crazy times. This was an outstanding group."
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