March 25th, 2013

Mercy Cheer/Dance teams win titles

Staff Report

Mercy Cheer/Dance teams win titles
Mercy Academy's championship cheer team / photo from Deidre Mackin

The Mercy Academy Jaguars cheerleaders and dance team competed at Jamfest Nationals Louisville this past weekend at the Kentucky International Convention Center. When all the cheering and dancing was finished, the Jaguars squads took home several titles.

Cheer and Dance head coach Deidre Mackin’s squads took home five titles (three in dance and two in cheer) and three additional honors.

“We have been battling injuries and illnesses for the past three weeks,” said Mackin. “(We’ve overcome) Fractures, severe sprains, mono & strep throat as well as the common allergies & seasonal issues have been the biggest setback. We try to give each athlete adequate healing time but some of these athletes have been troopers and pushed through their issues as the competition drew near. We were struggling toward the end, but our senior leaders stayed positive and really helped motivate the underclassmen to finish strong.”

After a long nine-month season, both the cheer and dance programs concluded with national titles as well as three specialty titles for Best Choreography (Dance) and Grand Champion and Paid Bid to US Finals for Cheer. The dance team won three titles: Varsity Pom, Varsity Jazz and Varsity Hip-Hop. The cheer team took home titles in Advanced Junior Varsity and Advanced Varsity Cheer.

“Choreography set us apart first and foremost,” said Mackin. “Our fast paced, no down time routine makes for fun viewing. Secondly, our skills are some of the best around. Our athletes take tremendous pride in the betterment of their team that we have inner squad competitions which has proved fruitful in pushing most of our athletes to the elite level. We’ve added more elite standing and running tumbling than we have ever had. This has given them a small taste of what they can achieve and has left most of our returning athletes ready to move to the next level.”

It is a bittersweet end to a great year as goodbyes must be said to 15 senior athletes – 10 cheer, 5 dance. Dance seniors include: Megan Bryan, Kaitlyn Cummins, Kristen Fante, Megan Hill, Kaelin Mayer. The Cheer seniors are: Courtney Boerste, Megan Fallon, Tori Gillon, Lauren Jones, Brianna Kestler, Kacie Key, Maggie Kleine-Kracht, Olivia Payne, Katie Selvage, Katelyn Ursini.

“Their attitude and determination are greater than any I have seen in my many years of coaching,” said Mackin. “They want to be the best, but more so they want each other to be the best so they decided, as a team, that they would not settle for anything less than the best they could put out on the floor. Team chemistry was the greatest factor to their achievements and they were there for each other through the highs and lows, pushing themselves and one another to be better each day.”

Deidre Mackin contributed to writing this story.


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