Glenwood Springs cheer squad second at state
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
DENVER, Colorado ” Raine Girardot walked off the mat at the Denver Coliseum entirely comfortable with leaving the rest up to fate.
That’s because Girardot and her Glenwood Springs cheer teammates walked away from their state final routine on Saturday knowing they couldn’t have performed it any better.
“We walked off the mat feeling the best we ever have,” she relayed. “We went out there and did our routine absolutely perfect. We were all super proud.”
Turns out, the routine sat well with the judges too.
Girardot and the Demons scored 95.83, just shy of Rocky Canyon’s 97.33, to bring home a second-place Class 4A finish from the weekend’s Colorado High School Activities Association state cheer competition.
“We were all really excited,” Girardot said. “We got second, but, like I told everyone, it still feels like first. … This is my fourth year competing and not once have I been able to walk off the mat feeling like I had done everything I could.”
Girardot’s teammate Savanna Cochran seconded the assessment.
“We definitely went out there and stuck a really good routine,” said Cochran, who, like Girardot, is a senior team captain. “We put our best out there, and that’s all you can really do. The rest is up to the judges. It feels like winning whenever you go out there and do the best you personally can.”
The state meet is anything but an alien atmosphere to the Glenwood Springs cheer program. The Demons finished third there last year and have finished in the top six every year since 2002, a stretch that began with back-to-back-to-back state titles from 2002 to 2004.
That’s quite the tradition to sustain, and Glenwood did just that on Saturday.
And the Demons did that with more on their minds than just scores and performing. They also had their former coach, Kim Richardson, in their thoughts. Richardson died in April after a long battle with cancer.
“Before we left on Friday, our coaches sat us down and started talking to us about Coach Kim,” Girardot explained. “They sat down with us and told us that Kim would be really proud of us and how important she is to the program. … We all decided to go out there and do it for Kim.”
Richardson coached the Demon cheer squad for more than 15 years and, even though she isn’t present in person, remains a big part of the team’s success. That’s the general consensus among the Glenwood cheerleader.
“She’s part of our squad,” Cochran emphasized. “Coming off the mat, one of the girls said, ‘Kim would have been proud of that.’ That’s really how we felt.
“A lot of the team didn’t know or work with her, but the legacy she passed on is great. What the program is, stands for, the morals we uphold ” those are all things Kim put into the program. She started it.”
Glenwood’s cheer squad will have another shot at making Richardson proud at February’s National High School Cheerleading Championship, a Universal Cheerleaders Association event. The Demons will travel to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando for that.
Until then, Glenwood will savor its silver finish at state.
“We’re very proud of them,” coach Lynn Goluba said. “I’m glad they were rewarded for the hard work they put in. This team has just been an absolute pleasure to work with. We just have great kids right now. That makes it easy to coach.”
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