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Palomar Cheer Secures a Podium At First Competition in Six Years

The+Palomar+Cheer+team+gathers+together+to+pose+for+a+picture+with+their+third+place+trophy.+Photo+courtesy%3A+Coach+Stephanie+Neptune+Reed
The Palomar Cheer team gathers together to pose for a picture with their third place trophy. Photo courtesy: Coach Stephanie Neptune Reed

SAN MARCOS — Palomar Cheer won third place at USA Nationals, after a six-year break from cheering in competitions.

After weeks of practicing and preparing for this competition, the Palomar Cheer team finally got a chance to see their hard work pay off. Competing against 12 other schools, the Palomar Cheer team was one of only a handful of 2-year schools at USA Nationals.

So not only were they competing after the team had been on the sidelines for six years, but they were also competing against mostly 4-year schools.

The cheerleaders’ nerves were high when going into the competition, with one of the athletes even throwing up twice at their final practice before going to USA Nationals. Even though the cheerleaders had a lot of confidence in each other, some of them weren’t expecting a huge result.

“I’m honestly speechless still… West Cliff, which is one of the closest schools to us, ended up with sixth place. And then Cal Poly with fifth, and they were amazing. They had pyramids, and we could get there one day, but we’re not there yet,” said team captain Kassidy Ewig.

“And it was kind of like a sigh like, ‘Oh, we could do it next year.’ And then once they called Palomar Community College for third place, you couldn’t hear anything because we were all yelling and screaming. I think maybe seven of us were crying,” said Ewig.

The team is still riding that high from getting onto the podium, and you can feel it at their practices. Their confidence level has skyrocketed even higher with this third place trophy. The joy and pride among the cheerleaders is infectious.

The shock of this achievement played a big part in the morale boost within the team, with so many of them initially thinking that they hadn’t even placed in the top half of the competition. Even planning on going harder next year to try and get a win or at least a podium place.

“It was very very unexpected. It was an experience that was very cool and fun, and kind of like intimidating at the same time… Then they called us in third, and we acted as if we had won. We went feral,” said Coach Reed.

A competition that was meant to just be a step in the right direction towards getting back into competing turned into a huge leap in the right direction. And it’s hard to not feel that excitement and pride with them.

“I don’t even know who came in first and second,” said Coach Reed.

The Palomar Cheer coach, Coach Reed, stands in front of her team, showing them how to perform a new routine inside the Dome on the Palomar San Marcos campus. She's wearing a black beanie, pink tie dye seater, and black sweatpants.
Coach Reed leads the Cheer team in a new routine during one of their practices inside the Dome. Photo credit: Alex Ortega

The team won’t be competing again for a while, but with this third place result under their belt, they’re eager for more. With nearly half of their athletes graduating and moving on from Palomar, they’re already preparing for next year. The team is currently planning their tryout routines for prospective cheerleaders to start building up next year’s roster.

But their spirits are still high, and even though they’re having to think about next year and the next competition, they’re still remembering to celebrate this result.

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Palomar Cheer Secures a Podium At First Competition in Six Years