Cheerleading: Providence earns title
Providence had finished second, third, fourth and fifth in the seven-year history of the Illinois High School Association State Competitive Cheerleading finals.
So when it knew it was going to be penalized for a tumbling miscue and Marist and Conant had been announced as the second- and third-place finishers, respectively, there wasn’t a whole lot of confidence among the Celtics on Saturday at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington.
But when the Celtics were announced as the 2013 large school champions, they went crazy.
“This was the best surprise of my life,” senior Bailey Seneni said. “We really didn’t expect it. That was the beauty of it. That was the best thing we ever experienced.”
The Celtics, who were sixth in Friday’s preliminaries with an 89.78, dialed it up a notch with a 93.72 to upend Marist (93.02), Conant (92.82), defending champion Sandburg (92.54), Lockport (92.22) and Lincoln-Way East (92.18) in a tightly packed top six.
“I’m so proud of the girls because the talent level in Illinois is just incredible,” Celtics coach Laura Duesing said. “We didn’t watch the other teams compete so we had no idea what we were up against. You never know until you hear the announcement at the awards.”
Sandburg, which won a National Cheerleaders Association title in Dallas in January, was seeking its fourth title and first back-to-back title but fell short.
“I’ve done this too long to predict anything because you never know,” Sandburg coach Mike Bruce said. “The kids did a great job and should be proud.”
Lemont took second in the medium school division with a 90.80, losing to Columbia (90.92), which moved up to the medium division after winning three straight small school titles. Lemont won medium division titles from 2009 to ’11 and finished third last year.
Oak Forest took third with an 89.64 and Bremen was 10th with an 82.80.
Defending coed champion Rich Central finished fifth.
Friday’s preliminary round featured a seven-team cluster full of elation and heartbreak in the medium division as 1.02 points separated seventh place from 13th. Bremen eked into the top 10 with a ninth-place preliminary finish of 85.46 but Lincoln-Wayl North finished out of the top 10, claiming 12th with an 84.66 and Tinley Park was 13th with an 84.66.
Lincoln-Way North was 12th in the large school division, while Stagg was 14th. Argo was 19th in the coed division, while Homewood-Flossmoor was 23rd and Thornwood 24th.