The club cheer team at Montclair State University came home with a second place win from the 2016 National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) Collegiate Cheer Championship on April 8 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
With a final score of 94.00 out of a possible 100 after the two-day competition, Montclair State trailed the first place victor, Davenport University, by 1.75 points for All Cheer Division III. The judges’ average score for the ten categories — 45-second routine, tumbling, part stunt, pyramids, baskets, jumps, choreography, degree of difference, overall effect and collegiate image — was added for their final score. Montclair State’s team scored a 10/10 for their 45-second routine as well as their collegiate image.
“I think the best feeling was hitting a perfect routine at finals, regardless of the place, though second out of sixteen is a great achievement for us,” said Lyndsey Foster, who has been on the team for two years. “We worked very hard to get where we are right now. I’m proud of my team and proud to call myself a Montclair State cheerleader.”
According to Head Coach Jayne Shalkowski, Montclair State has placed in the top eight every year since the team has competed in the NCA Competition. This year’s first-place winner, Davenport University, is able to give full scholarships to members of their cheer team, unlike Montclair State.
“Winning second place and being so close to first was definitely an experience full of mixed emotions,” said Amanda Kaminsky, who is in her second year as a flyer for club cheer at Montclair State. “First place is always the goal, but either way, we did what we had to do as a team and pulled out an amazing performance, which is a feeling nothing can replace.”
According to the players, preparing for the competition involved frequent practices and camps, as well as a lot of dedication to the team and the sport.
“All season, as a team, we really had to push ourselves to new limits in order to get where we got,” said Siani Jordan, a sophomore who has been on the team for two years. “All the love and support from our coaches also contributed to our success.”
Shalkowski, along with her Assistant Coach Staci, who is a Montclair State alumna, and her daughter, ran practices two to four times a week throughout the semester. “Choreography takes place, conditioning, tumbling, stunting and practice, practice, practice,”