Norwin spirit squad takes 3rd at WPIALs, advances to state meet
Friday, January 11, 2019 | 8:24 PM
The Norwin competitive spirit team’s solid season has turned into a notably successful one, thanks to a third-place finish in the large varsity division at the seventh annual WPIAL championships Jan. 5 at Hempfield.
To make their finish even more impressive, coach Linda Rundy said her Knights were thrown a bit of a curveball in regards to their routine in the week prior to their WPIAL competition.
Still, the girls managed to maintain their cool as they adjusted to alterations in their choreography and pulled it off with no hiccups.
“The girls were amazing at WPIALs. We changed the routine at the beginning of the week to add a degree of difficulty to our stunts. It’s not an easy thing to ask, but I’ll tell you what, they pulled it off,” Rundy said.
“They did a fantastic job and landed the stunts perfectly. It’s tough to compete in a large division that has 21 teams, but I’m proud of the way that they competed. We held our own with Baldwin and Butler, and we’re very happy about it.”
Butler earned the top honors in the large division for the second consecutive season, and Baldwin took second place.
Norwin already has punched its ticket to the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championships from Feb. 8-10 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., as a result of a first-place finish in the Super Varsity Division at the UCA Regionals at Slippery Rock on Dec. 2.
However, before they begin to eye up the national competition, the Knights were headed to Hershey on Saturday, after deadline for this edition, to participate in the PIAA competitive spirit championships.
Rundy’s team competed in the state event last year but did not advance to the final round of competition. This year, she said they were aiming to rectify last season’s shortcoming.
“The girls’ goal this year is to make it straight to finals. That’s our goal, not just making it to semis but we want to go straight to the finals on Friday. I think we can do it,” Rundy said beforehand.
“They’re very dedicated, and they have a great attitude. This year, our scores are the highest we’ve ever had in seven years. We’re right in the mix against anybody that we compete against. Our scores are the highest they’ve been, and they continue to get higher.”
The Norwin competitive spirit squad is composed of Marissa Santora, Sammi Sonnenberg, Kathryn Makay, Catherine Mazzei, Talley Rady, Gabby Guldin, Madelyn Bowser, Laiken Burmeister, Kendra Rabo, Olivia Shipley, Hannah Patalsky, Sierra Sonnenberg, Alivia Jarusinsky, Kylie Franks, Courtney Ferek, Nia Armstrong, Leah Comito, Gracie Rady, Krista Hartman, Abbey Siffrinn, MaKenzie Turkowski, Macie Daugherty, Jenna Guilbon, Emma Guldin, Katie Black and Jenna Bernard.
Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.