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Glenwood cheerleaders make national finals (with video from practice)

Ann-Marie Kelley
Special to the Post Independent

Glenwood Springs High School’s cheerleading team did so well in Saturday’s preliminary round of the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Florida, that it skipped the semifinals and advanced to the finals.

While GSHS cheer teams have traveled to UCA (Universal Cheerleaders Association) nationals 13 times and made it to the finals before, no Glenwood team, according to coach Lynn Goluba, has ever taken one of the top two spots in preliminaries, which allows a free pass to the Sunday finals. That’s a huge advantage according to Goluba, who recently rejoined the team.

The team will compete in the tournament finals today, which will be streamed online at http://www.Varsity.com.

“With this sport, you never know how it will go,” Goluba said by phone from Florida. “Having 14 girls trying to do a routine perfectly is tough. A slip on a foot can throw you off and cost you the routine. [Saturday], the girls were pretty solid. It’s an honor to be asked to come back and coach.”

Goluba took over for coach Kate Hatch, who recently gave birth to twin girls. Hatch watched the competition via video stream.

“It was really hard not being there, but I am there in spirit and cheering hard for them,” Hatch said.

One of the four seniors on the team, Tasha Jordan, said the announcement that GSHS had skipped to finals was right up there with winning the Class 4A state title in December. She said the girls have really stepped it up this past week.

“It’s bittersweet getting here as a senior,” she said. “We’ve been working hard for the past three years. It’s so cool that it is happening senior year and we are a part of it.”

Senior Maria Garcia agrees.

“Not many people from a small town get to go to such a big event and do good,” Garcia said. “We were so nervous, but we calmed ourselves down and managed to do well.”

Glenwood qualified for the national tournament with a third-place finish in the Colorado Southern Regional Championship tournament, which took place on Nov. 1 at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo. Only Top 10 finishers in regional championships held across the country qualify to compete in Orlando.

Coach Jody Jordan, mother of senior cheerleader Tasha, is proud of a team that started with 25 girls and is now down to 15. The team was picked in April, started weight training in May, began practicing together in August, qualified for nationals in November and won the state title in December.

“These girls are all so different,” Jordan said. “They have come together to make a great team.”


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