Mililani, Radford capture championships
|State cheerleading championship photo gallery|
By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Leila Wai
The Mililani cheerleading squad got some motivation recently, and used it to capture a state title.
"Our (yellow, state runner-up) banner came in while we were practicing for states," said Mililani junior Marcy Chun of the championship banners that hang in the school's gym. "When we saw the yellow one, we decided we wanted a (first-place) brown one."
Mililani won its first state title and Radford repeated as champion of the medium division in the HHSAA/Zippy's Cheerleading State Championships yesterday at the Stan Sheriff Center in front of a colorful and loud crowd of about 2,500.
In an environment as supportive as its sport dictates, 15 squads, along with exhibition performances by junior varsity and intermediate squads from various schools, received cheers louder than those taking place on the mat.
Mililani won the three-team large division, made up of 12 to 18 members, and Radford captured the 13-team medium division, consisting of 11 or fewer members. Mililani and Radford were the only squads to receive at least 110 points (out of 125) from each of the three judges.
Mililani scored 332.5 points, just ahead of Kamehameha's 327, and Kealakehe came in third with 285 points. It was the first time in the six years of the state meet Kamehameha did not win a championship. It won the medium division in 2002 and every large division title since 2003.
"The only thing I can say is 'Wow,' " Mililani coach Renesha Kierstedt said. "Kamehameha is a powerhouse. We knew it was going to be very close. I never underestimated my team, but it comes down to what happens on the floor."
What happened was Mililani, a senior-less squad, had no deductions, while Kamehameha had eight points taken away. The Trojans changed their routine two days before the state meet to help make the routine cleaner and so they could score more points. Kierstedt said the cheerleaders choreographed parts of the routine, and "they are crazy, kooky girls, so they have crazy, kooky routines."
"I'm glad we changed the routine," said Chun, who said they changed their basket tosses. "It felt really good. We lost to Kamehameha last year, so it feels good."
Radford scored 336 points, followed by Baldwin with 318 and Moanalua with 308.
Just after the awards ceremony, Radford senior captain Keisha Pamaylaon presented coach Bo Frank with the trophy, saying, "Coach, I think this belongs to you."
Pamaylaon said "not only did we do it for ourselves and our school, but for our coach."
Frank said the skills and tricks Radford does are "the hardest thing you can do in high school cheerleading. So it's just a matter of what you do out there on the floor."
And the Rams did it right on the floor. Pamaylaon said she felt confident as soon as they completed their routine. Like Mililani, it had no deductions. Pamaylaon said "our tumbling and stunts, and all our personalities mixed together in one routine" made the Rams special.
Frank said in previous years, he always worried about one element or another.
"But this year, I wasn't worried," he said.
Squads perform 2 1/2 minutes, and can't exceed 1 1/2 minutes of music. They must also perform a minimum of 35 seconds of cheering/chanting. Cheerleaders are judged from beginning to elite within the following categories: motions, jumps, stunts, pyramids, standing tumbling, running tumbling, baskets, and dance. Routine choreography, routine execution, and overall performance are also key factors of a squad's score.
Large Division: 1, Mililani (Chelsie Abear, Marcy Chun, Annalise Ferreria, Taylor Kam, Mishon Kawaguchi, Allysen Kikumoto, Brandee Koyanagi, Tracy Martinez, Divine McMahon, Jaime Tenorio, Desiree Toribio, Chelsea Villamor) 332.5 points. 2, Kamehameha 327. 3, Kealakehe 285.
Medium Division: 1, Radford (Malyssa Barbasa, Ashley Ann Carter, Warren Carter, Samantha Dickens, Kyra Ann Fong, Arlene Gines, Rachel Gines, Keisha Pamaylaon, BritneyRose Petros, Mary Pierce, Cortney Williams) 336. 2, Baldwin 318. 3, Moanalua 308. 4, Waiakea 307.5. 5, 'Aiea 302.5. 6, Kailua 297. 7, Farrington 289.5. 8, McKinley 282.5. 9, Kalaheo 278. 10, Lahainaluna 276. 11, Roosevelt 271.5. 12, Campbell 268.5. 13, Waimea 259.5.
Reach Leila Wai at email@example.com.