LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Kuyahoora Pop Warner cheerleaders headed for Disney World in Florida on Sunday hoping to improve upon last year’s performance at the national championship competition.
They accomplished that goal and then some when they competed Tuesday in the Pop Warner National Cheer and Dance Championships.
The Kuyahoora Cougars took first place, winning the national championship in the Junior Varsity Small Level 1 class.
“First place, baby!” said their coach, Laura Allen, in a telephone interview Tuesday, about an hour after the results were announced.
The squad took another top honor as well, she said, receiving the overall high stunt score in the class.
The 10-member team had to perform stunts, a pyramid, tumbling, jumps and a dance, Allen said. Thirteen teams from across the country were scheduled to compete in the class.
“We were actually toward the end of the performance,” Allen said. The team had to wait only half an hour or so after they competed to learn the results.
“Everyone is super excited,” she said.
The same 10 girls, now ages 10 to 12, traveled to Florida last year to compete, but were disappointed in their performance. That was not the case this time around.
With the competition over, the girls had a chance to spend time at Disney World before heading back home Thursday.
The squad won the Tri Valley League championship to qualify for the regionals in New Jersey where they earned the right to compete at the national championships in Florida.