The Auburn Mountainview Cheer Team looks to make some noise at nationals. COURTESY PHOTO, Bob Sheldon

The Auburn Mountainview Cheer Team looks to make some noise at nationals. COURTESY PHOTO, Bob Sheldon

Lions cheer squad roars to nationals

State champions head to Orlando for showcase

Having survived Battle Ground, the Auburn Mountainview Cheer Team is ready to take on the world.

The Lions – all 14 strong – are soaring this week, flying to Orlando, Fla., and the big stage at the Walt Disney World Resort for the National High School Cheerleading Championship. The Saturday and Sunday showcase, to be nationally televised on ESPN and ESPN2, is one of the most prestigious cheerleading championships in the country.

Auburn Mountainview coach Shana Biggs will have her girls ready. The group, she observed, has the right approach.

“They work well together as a team and really do what they do for each other, not just themselves,” Biggs said. “They really want to do the best they can do for each other. When they got off the mat and finished their routine at state, you could see they did everything possible to do their best. … They hugged each other and celebrated together.”

The Lions captured two divisions in the 2A, 3A, 4A state finals at Battle Ground High School on Jan. 27. They scored 82 points to outdistance Capital of Olympia (77.25) and Orlando-bound Auburn Riverside (74.75) to take the Game Day Medium division. The Lions (71.25) edged Skyline of Sammamish (70.5) for the Non-Tumbling Medium crown.

All told, it was the program’s second consecutive state title and its third in four years.

“They work hard … and really want to do their best for each other,” Biggs said.

At nationals, Biggs hopes her girls can reach the finals in the Game Day routine and maybe sneak into the semifinals of a crowded and highly competitive Non-Tumbling Medium program.

Biggs’ coaching staff includes Kaitlyn Hanley.

The team consists of: Christina Thompson (captain, senior); Katherine Setera (senior); Melanie Coleman (captain, senior); Morgan Ennever (senior); Shelby Anderson (captain, senior); Bailey Ketchum; Mya Mancuso; Paula Chiang; Taylor Altick; AvaClaire Andersen; Caitlin Barba; Isabelle Zahnow; Jessica Murdock; and Kendra Lewis.

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