LV Cheer team enters history books

Campus Times
March 19, 2004

by Max Zänker
LV Life Editor

For the University of La Verne cheerleading squad, last Sunday will always be remembered as a historical date with the first victory in the University’s history at the West Coast Open in Irvine.

Although they had only one competitor, Montana State University, ULV coach and captain Sarah Davis was satisfied.

“Winning is a big deal for us,” she said. “Montana State won all their other competitions, so beating them shows us where we stand among other teams.”

The ULV cheerleaders performed a one-minute repertoire of stunts and beat Montana State with an overall score of 310.5 - 298.5.

“The judges looked at the difficulty level of the stunt, the pace, the control and the music of the performance,” said junior Erin Zabarnick. “Our stunts were more difficult, we were faster and did not make as many mistakes as our opponent, so we won.”

The judges awarded ULV 40 out of 50 points for technique, form and choreography; 115.5 out of 150 for skills, originality and “showpersonship” and 119 out of 150 points for overall effects.

“You had great control as a flyer and awesome technique,” wrote one judge.

Because of minor balance problems during their stunts, so called bobbles, ULV lost four points and ended the competition with a score of 310.5.

Together with Davis and Zabarnick, Andi Nunez, Reinel Campa and Kelly Cruz cheered for ULV in Irvine.

The West Coast Open was only the second competition in which ULV cheerleaders have participated.

“It makes me feel good because I have been cheerleading for four years now, and since my freshman year, there was a lot of development for us cheerleaders here at ULV,” said senior Nunez, who faces her last year as a cheerleader.

The teams’ first contest was in Las Vegas several weeks ago, where they competed against 19 Division I teams from across the nation.

“Even though we were not among the 10 teams who made it to the second round, it showed us that we can keep up with Division I teams,” Davis said.

With a competition coming up, the women train up to three hours, seven days a week for two months.

“This left out our bigger staff but those five really dedicated girls went to the competitions,” Davis said.

But competitions are not the main purpose for the ULV cheerleading squad.

“Our main goal is to support the other ULV teams, then we go to competitions,” Davis said.

“We had a competition in February, but decided not to go because there was a basketball game that night. The school is way more important to us than our own success.”

For Davis, the victory in Irvine crowned an “overwhelming” weekend, she said after winning the title Miss La Verne on Saturday night.

“I took a good night’s sleep after this incredible night and then went to the competition,” she said. “When we then saw the other team, we were sure and totally excited that we were going to win.

“After this great weekend I directly went and bought a lottery ticket, but I did not win this. I guess you can’t win it all.”