Even at 8:30 on a Saturday morning in March, The Pit boomed with the voices of the Questa Ladycats cheerleaders, their families and fans."There's nobody left in …
Even at 8:30 on a Saturday morning in March, The Pit boomed with the voices of the Questa Ladycats cheerleaders, their families and fans.
"There's nobody left in Questa!" The fans joked. "Everybody's here!"
Jennifer Trujillo, cousin of head coach Kathy Gonzales, has been attending the state cheer competition for years, even after her own daughter graduated. Having been a cheerleader herself, she said, "It gets in your blood and it doesn't go away."
The job of cheerleaders is to influence the energy around them, and the Questa Wildcats delivered. Though their performance was first thing in the morning, University Arena was joyous and light.
For the second time during the weekend competition, the Ladycats nailed it. They left the floor sharing hugs and big smiles.
The awards ceremony was intense. Third place went to Fort Sumner and second to Pecos. The Questa team and many observers held their breath, believing that they'd accomplished their three-peat.
When the winner was announced to be Clayton, the Questa girls appeared astonished.
Though the Ladycats put on a performance to be proud of, it wasn't enough for a trophy this year. None of the teams that placed higher were in 2A last year.
Scoring cheer routines is complicated and stunts are weighted by difficulty level. Many of the more difficult stunts require a larger team which is why the highest overall scores at cheer meets tend to belong to big schools.
With the redistricting, former 3A schools Clayton (first place with 169.54 points) and Pecos (second place with 169.22 points) moved down to 2A and Fort Sumner (third place with 162.29 points) moved up from class A.
Questa was in third place after day one of the competition, but Fort Sumner moved ahead with their final routine. Questa finished fourth with 159.36 points, 8.25 points ahead of the fifth-place team from Melrose.
The Pecos fans were an organized force that was as loud or louder than their cheer squad. They certainly ought to have been. They outnumbered the cheerleaders considerably and read along. The fans brought colored cardstock that said "Pecos Cheer" on the front and had the team cheer printed on the back. No need to hear or follow the cheerleaders on the floor. They were the only team at the competition that The Taos News observed engaging in that practice.
The Questa cheer team is young. Doubtless they will be right back to training and another attempt at the blue trophy next year.
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