While most students were enjoying the end of February break and preparing to return to school, the school’s cheerleading team was preparing to compete in the cheerleading Nationals competition, which was held at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
The cheerleading team flew in on Thursday for the competition on Friday, February 21. After practicing their routine for a month, the Eagles went into the competition hopeful, confident about their ability to do the steps and stunts in the routine well.
“All of [the routine] were things we could do and hit strong,” captain senior Alannah Zib said.
Up against nine other cheer teams which were among the best in the nation, Los Altos knew that placing in the competition wasn’t a guarantee and didn’t want to be overconfident.
“We weren’t really expecting to place high,” Alannah said. “It was more of a hope for the best and expect the worst kind of idea.”
However, most of the teams participating were among those they had competed against before, except for one from Hawaii. Though familiar with the competition, the team ran into trouble at the last minute, as one of its routine’s stunts was considered too advanced and dangerous.
“Thirty minutes before we performed we needed to change a stunt around!” captain senior Nathalie Preciado said. “It was very stressful but everyone stayed calm and we made that last minute change.”
Despite having to work around the last minute change just half an hour before their performance, the Eagles performed well. After the judges considered the difficulty of the routines as well as execution and showmanship, they gave the team a score of 81.33 percent, catapulting them all the way to a third place win, just after Leilehua High School from Hawaii and Modesto Christian High School.
The team members were excited about achieving their third place finish, as they had met their original goal of placing in the top three. With Nationals over, the cheer team has no more competitions for the year. They finished strong with their third place win at Nationals and enjoyed the experience of competing.
“Overall it was really fun to be in Las Vegas and spend time with my team members and to also do so well at Nationals,” Alannah said. “The team [members] had worked so hard and put a lot of effort into the team and this win shows that hard work really does pay off.”