BOZEMAN — For those people who think cheerleading isn’t a sport, Motion Athletics says think again.
“This is just a group that has been dedicated, committed, they show up and work hard every week and at the end of the season it definitely showed,” said Motion Athletics head coach Brittany Sterkel.
Hours and hours spent flipping, lifting and tumbling in their gym led to one perfect moment. In March, the Motion Athletics: Blaze Intensity Cheer team won the US Finals in Las Vegas to be crowned national champions.
“You don’t really think about anything else besides like, ‘This is my time to do this.’ You have 2 minutes and 30 seconds on the mat and that’s all you have,” said Katie Moss, a member on the team.
“I really love this team. And it was really honoring to win it with them because we’ve all worked so hard this entire season and a lot of us have worked hard just to be on this team. And just to win together is amazing,” added Motion Athletics sophomore Taylor Thomas.
They were the only team from Montana in Vegas. Other squads from around the country doubled them in size. They were underdogs the moment they stepped on the mats.
“We honestly weren’t expecting to win because it’s this huge competition,” smiled junior Katie Rea. “We were just so honored to be considered to go, so it was an even greater experience to go and win.”
Their routine wowed the judges as Motion Athletics scored 96.27 out of 100 points to take first place.
“It just shows how hard we work coming from a smaller gym compared to those other gyms that have like 30 girls on their team and we only have like 15. I think it just shows how hard we work,” said freshman Josie Neal.
“(Our goal is) hopefully going back to US Finals and taking another win,” said Rea. “And we are hoping to increase the number of competitions that we go to, so maybe go to some more bigger ones like US Finals because now we know we will be successful.”
Story by Nick Petraccione, MTN Sports