HELENA — The Gym406 competitive cheer team has accomplished a lot in a short time. They started competing last season, and this season, they’ve not only more than doubled in size, but they also took first place at the Magic City Championship in Billings.
“It was really exciting for our first time to get first place,” Gym406 cheerleader Willow Evans said.
The Gym406 cheerleaders competed against teams from across the state, but cheerleader Kambria Taylor said it wasn’t stressful.
“It’s always just about having fun and showing what you can do to the judges,” Taylor said.
Last year, the team had just 10 cheerleaders and competed in the Magic City Championship with only six.
“We found out four of our girls weren’t going to be able to compete that weekend, the weekend of,” Gym406 coach Megan Lewis said. “We had to completely change our routine that morning.”
This year, the team has 22 cheerleaders ages seven to 15.
“It was just amazing to see them all work so well together to put this energy out there and their best for it,” Gym406 coach Nick Steeneken said.
Cheerleading is fun, but it’s also hard work. The Gym406 cheerleaders have evening practices where they learn choreography, perfect their jumps and work on stunts.
Cheerleader Brooke Lewis said all of that work paid off at the Magic City Championship.
“You’ve got to remember a lot of stuff,” she said. “But it’s all muscle memory, and we’re prepared—we prepare a lot, and we do our routine over and over again.”
While taking home first place is awesome, it’s about more than winning at Gym406.
“I have to say, they are the kindest, most loving, sweet girls,” Gym406 coach Airlynn Taylor said. “Our older girls are so encouraging to these younger girls, they really lift them up.”
Fresh off the win in Billings, the Gym406 cheer team is back to work, practicing and getting better together for the next competition.