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Cheerleaders ready for state level

Corona del Mar team headed to statewide competition includes girls from all grades.

November 25, 2006|By Michael Miller

Natalie Hupp had plenty of experience with cheerleading competitions before Saturday — but never in her own right. The Corona del Mar High School freshman had grown up watching her older sister, who graduated in June.

So when Natalie, 14, joined the rest of her all-squad team Saturday at Valley View High School in Moreno Valley, the torch had been passed to a new generation of Hupps. By the end of the event, when the Corona del Mar team had won the Judges' Award and finished first in the varsity category, the torch was blazing indeed.

"We were just kind of relaxed that day," Natalie said. "We weren't expecting a lot, so we were really happy."

The team that Corona del Mar sent to the Sharp International Competition on Saturday featured members from all grade levels. For some, it was another victory for a squad that has shined in a number of meets over the last three years. For others, it was quite a way to start.

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Ever since the summer, Corona del Mar's cheer squad has practiced four days a week, freshman Callen Chung said. The group's routine this fall, "Disco Fever," features a number of 1970s pop songs, including KC and the Sunshine Band's "Boogie Shoes" and Kool and the Gang's "Ladies' Night."

Wendy Rice, the school's cheer advisor, did the choreography, which includes a number of complicated moves. Senior Sophie Lloyd, the varsity captain, said the team executed two transitional pyramids, in which squad members move from one stunt to another while in the air.

Following its victory in Moreno Valley, the Corona del Mar team will move on to the state championships at the Home Depot Center in Carson on Dec. 16, held in conjunction with the California Interscholastic Federation championship football game.

Callen, 14, said having an all-squad team helped to bring everyone up to the same level.

"We combined this year to be one big, happy family," she said. "Usually we compete as freshmen, junior varsity and varsity, but this year we decided to all come together. It works out better that way."

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