The Pleasanton Middle School cheer squad recently swept top honors at the United Spirit Association Jr. Nationals, not only winning its division but also being crowned grand champions as the tournament's best team.
The group of 16 seventh- and eighth-grade cheerleaders earned the highest score of all 30 teams from California and Nevada, including Hart and Harvest Park middle schools, across seven divisions competing in Anaheim two weekends ago.
Pleasanton Middle also took first place in its division: small junior high school show cheer novice.
"Eight months of practice and two successful regionals and a win at the California Open in Davis led up to this day," coach Genevieve Charbonneau said.
"The girls headed into nationals with two of their teammates injured, but with a lot of determination and practice, they never gave up and knew that they only had one shot and 2-1/2 minutes on the floor. They brought it and gave it everything they had, and then some," Charbonneau added.
The grand champion team consisted of Jenna Benner, Lauren Brown, Isabella Bryan, Sarah Cabral, Emily Casssetti, Madison Charbonneau, Mia De La Cruz, Emily Hanna, Alex Lovelock, Shay McIntyre, Caitlyn McNamara, Cecelia Pierce, Jaiden Reilly, Sam Richert, Grace Rondoni and Lauren Sowers.