Steamboat Springs cheerleading team does well in Denver |

Steamboat Springs cheerleading team does well in Denver

Luke Graham

The Steamboat Springs High School cheerleading team finished third during the weekend in Denver. Pictured are, back row from left, Guerin Lewis, Kate Jankoski, Abby Burns, Kiayvah Ordrey, Connor O'Brien and Allison Williams; third row from left, Taylor Hansen, Reina Salky, Annie Martin, Reagan Mertz, Lacey Lewis and Colton Lewer; second row from left, Hanna Pagliaro, Carly Hanley, Brooke Bumgarner and Miranda Salky; and front row from left, Sydney Finkbohner and Brandi Salazar.

— The Steamboat Springs High School cheerleading team qualified for a national competition on the heels of finishing third place in the small coed division at the UCA Mile High Regionals on Saturday.

Competing at the Denver Convention Center, where the team finished sixth last year, coach Shannon Keesee said the goal was to qualify for the national competition.

The team had been working on its routine since August. The competition involves 2 1/2 minutes of a routine that is judged on jumps, coed stunts, partner stunts, a pyramid and the level of difficulty and execution.

"This one, it's really stressful," Keesee said about the competition. "They perform their routine and only get one chance."

Keesee said the team qualified for the national competition for the fourth straight year. The difference is the team plans to go this year. The national competition is Feb. 8 and 9 in Orlando, Fla.

During April tryouts, the team decided this would be the season to travel to the national competition. The cost, however, is steep.

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The cheerleaders have done multiple fundraisers to raise money to help cover the cost of the trip. In addition to bake sales, the team has organized clinics for young cheerleaders. The team will continue to do bake sales and may hold another clinic for children.

Right now, the team has raised enough to help send 12 members of its team to the national tournament. Keesee said 16 members compete, and she wants to bring as many of her 25-member team as possible.

The team is committed and will be required to put a down payment on the national competition Dec. 3. The cost for each cheerleader headed to the national competition is $495 plus airfare.

"It would be nice to get at least the 16 there," she said.

This is the second year the team has competed in the coed cheer division. The team competes against all Class 4A and 5A competition.

The team next competes in the state competition Dec. 7 in Denver. Last year, the team finished 11th. This year, Keesee said, the team wants to make finals and finish well inside the top 10.

For more information or to donate to the cheerleading program, email Keesee at

Members of the competitive team include Allison Williams, Brandi Salazar, Brooke Bumgarner, Carly Hanley, Colton Lewer, Connor O’Brien, Guerin Lewis, Hanna Pagliaro, Kate Jankoski, Lacey Lewis, Miranda Salky, Sydney Finkbohner, Taylor Hansen, Kiayvah Ondrey, Reagan Mertz, and Reina Salky. Alternates are Annie Martin, Hannah Melius, Abby Burns and Kelsey Spognardi.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email