Cheerleading squad wins fourth national championship

Last month Laurier’s cheerleading team proved once again that they are much more than a sideline act.

Competing at the national cheerleading championship held in Brampton, Ont. on Dec. 4, the Golden Hawks cheerleaders took home their fourth-straight championship in the University All-Girl division, posting a combined score of 789, beating out second-place McMaster by 57 points.

“The big thing for us was that we wanted to go out there and not only win but be respected at the competition overall,” said Laurier head coach Jon Cameron. “It feels great knowing that we’ve been able to really make a mark on Canadian cheerleading.”

The win not only marks the fourth straight for Laurier’s cheerleading program, but also a significant milestone for the some of the team’s veteran members.

“Winning [the national title] for our seniors this year meant that they’ve never lost as long as they’ve been at Laurier,” said Cameron. “I think that put a little bit of added pressure on them to really perform at their best but having won three times before they really know how to win so they didn’t have any problems dealing with that pressure.”

The format of the competition features the teams performing the same routine twice, with the winner being the team that obtains the highest combined score from their two runs.

According to Cameron, the Hawks’ first performance left something to be desired; however, the team still sat in first after one run. And when it came time for the second performance of the competition, the Hawks more than made up for any shortcomings that might have existed in the first.

“In the first run, it certainly wasn’t the best that they’ve ever done, there was certainly room for improvement,” said Cameron. “But in the second run, they went out and they executed almost flawlessly.”

In the end, that second Laurier run was enough to maintain the top spot and hand the purple and gold the national championship win. In Cameron’s eyes, the win also acts as For Cameron, a former captain of Laurier’s cheerleading team, the win has added significance, as it was his first national title as the team’s head coach. However, having had so much previous experience with the team, the Laurier alumnus was confident in his team’s ability to keep the streak of titles alive.

“Having been so heavily involved in the coaching staff previously, I didn’t really feel any more pressure than I did before,” said Cameron. “Plus, I had such great support from my assistant coaches and the other staff that help us out.”

As with any winning streak when it comes to sports, the question now becomes can this string of four-straight championships become five next year?

With at least 24 of the 29 members of the team likely to return, Cameron is confident in his team’s potential to make it five in a row in 2011.

“I think that as long as they continue to work hard and keep themselves in the best possible shape that they can it’s a definite possibility for this program,” he said.”

Despite the national championship win, the Hawks’ season is not over yet. Next weekend the team will travel to Indianapolis, Ind. to take part in a competition known as Jamfest Super Nationals.