May 28th, 2024

Yeti cheerleaders crowned national champions


By Lethbridge Herald on April 17, 2024.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO The Peak Elite CheerleadingÕs U12 Level 1Yetis group performing at the Canadian Cheer National Championships in Niagara Falls last weekend.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

Peak Elite Cheerleading headed to Niagara Falls to compete at the Canadian Cheer National Championships and one group came home a champion over the weekend.

Peak Elite’s U12 Level 1 Yetis group won the national championship.

“They showed some real grit (last) weekend,” said Samantha Paradee, Peak Elite Cheerleading owner and elite program head coach.

The three main components of cheerleading include building skills with pyramids and stunts, a tumbling section, which is something you would see in floor exercises such as backwards cartwheels and the overall section with the choreography.

“So of those three main sections, what we really excelled in this weekend was our building skills and our building technique and we had an insane score in our tumbling sections as well,” said Paradee.

“So we scored 4.9 out of 5 and we scored 19.2’s out of 20. So exceptionally high scores for our category.”

It wasn’t all easy for the Yetis going into the weekend.

“So about 10 days ago, we had an athlete have an injury at practice and we had to rework our entire routine,” said Paradee.

“We practiced these routines for almost a year before they’re performed on a stage at nationals. We begin in June and it’s April now. So having an athlete unable to participate and having to rechoreograph things with 10 days before nationals was very challenging and took a lot of effort from the kids, the families, the practice schedules in order to make the shift happen. So the girls really demonstrated an uncanny ability to adapt to a new situation.”

The cheerleading club will now look to qualify for the international championships next season.

“So this is going to set the foundation of being at a larger competition, and having greater exposure and more teams in our division,” said Paradee.

Peake’s  U16 Level 1 and 2 team placed second and the U16 Level 3 team placed fourth in categories that had between 50-60 teams.

The local U16 Level 2 K2  team  had the opportunity to compete at the elusive invite-only Canadian Cheer Finals while at nationals and place ninth.

“The “Finals bid” our team received  was an invite to a special event that runs after nationals,” explained Paradee.

“These are given to teams that place in top of our provincial competitions and allows all teams of all ages to compete against each other within the level regardless of age. U12, U16 and U18 teams are all judged against one another.”

“As the teams return home to Lethbridge, they carry with them a sense of accomplishment and pride in their achievements,” as read in a release.

“Their success at the Canadian Cheer Nationals not only highlights their individual talent but also reflects the strength of the Lethbridge cheerleading community.”

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