Gannon University’s all-girl and co-ed competitive cheer teams traveled to Columbus, Ohio, Feb. 24-25 for two days of exhibition cheer at the COA Midwest Championship.
Both teams competed uncontested and the all-girl team finished with a score of 82.59 percent and the co-ed team ended with a score of 83.17 percent. Both scores were computed by 25 percent from the first day and 75 percent from the second day.
After day one, the all-girl team had a score of 83.07 percent, scoring a 9.5 out of 10 in routine composition, 4.4 out of five for pyramid technique, 4.4 out of five in toss technique, 4.3 out of five in standing tumbling technique, 4.3 out of five for running tumbling technique and 4.3 out of five in jump technique.
In addition, the Knights improved their performance score to 9.53 out of 10 on Sunday.
The co-ed team finished the two days with a total score of 83.17 percent after starting with an 82.57 percent after Saturday. The team earned 4.4 out of five on toss technique, standing tumbling technique, running tumbling technique and jump technique. The team’s routine composition was given 9.7 points out of a possible 10.
The squad scored the same Sunday as it did Saturday in tumbling technique, running tumbling technique and jump technique, and they had an increase in stunt technique and toss technique, which propelled their total score.
The Knights also received 9.7 out of 10 for routine composition again and earned 9.67 out of 10 for performance on Sunday to give them a grand total of 83.17 percent on the weekend.
Senior Cassandra Gaglianese said she is sad to see her eight years of cheer, including four years of competitive cheer for Gannon, come to an end, but credits the team and Gannon to allowing her to travel the country and immerse herself into the Erie community through service.
“ I have had the privilege to volunteer at the Erie VA Hospital, the Tall Ships Erie festival, the Color Run, and so many other events in the Erie Area,” Gaglianese said. “I have also had the opportunity to perform at multiple on campus events, and an Erie Bayhawks game. I have created so many friendships, and a relationship with my coaches that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
Gannon’s previous competition came at the Falls Freeze Cheer and Dance Frenzy in Sanborn, N.Y., on Feb 4.
The all-girl squad placed first and the co-ed team took second. The female team also won the “Amazing Showmanship” award.
The young women earned 117.2 points and outdistanced second-place Rochester Institute of Technology.
The Knights received only .75 points in deductions, 29 out of 30 points overall in tumbling, a perfect score in jump technique and a building score of 31.6 out of 35 possible points.
Gannon earned 57.3 out of 60 points in its overall impression score. On the scorecards, both the all-girl and co-ed teams had 9.8 out of 10 in both performance and routine composition.
The co-ed team also won the “Terrific Tumbling” award for its entire session. The Knights finished with 114.5 point for their performance.
The young women and men had a raw score of 118.7 prior to deductions and only lost half of a point in their overall tumbling score. They produced perfect scores in jump difficulty and technique, and their overall building score was 31.7 out of 35, coupled with a perfect in toss difficulty.
The team netted 57.5 out of 60 possible points in overall impression and a perfect 10 out of 10 for routine difficulty.
Gaglianese said this year could arguably be the team’s best year.
“We have such a strong team dynamic this year and it is working to our advantage,” Gaglianese said. “We have been so focused all year and each person on the team has a true love and passion for the sport which is just so amazing to see and be a part of.”
Gaglianese mentioned two big competitions ahead of the team – the CANAM Championships on March 16 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. and the Battle at the Capitol in National Harbo, Md., March 17-18.
“We are hoping for another solid performance at both competitions this year like we had last year,” Gaglianese said. “We will also be holding a showcase here on Gannon’s campus in the Hammermill Center on March 24, to showcase out nationals routine.”
The nationals routine is what the teams will perform when they head down to Daytona Beach, Fla., for the NCA Collegiate Cheer and Dance National Championships April 5-6.
“NCA College Nationals is what we work so hard for all year,” Gaglianese said. “NCA Nationals is when teams come from all over the country to compete to be named the best cheer team in the nation.”
Last year the all-girl team placed fifth and the co-ed team placed fourth.
Up next both teams will travel to Elmira, N.Y., Sunday for the Elmira College Competition.
Gaglianese said she looks forward to what’s in store for the competitive cheer program.
“Although I am sad to see my cheer career come to an end, I know that being a part of this team has given me so many opportunities that I could have never imagined, and I will forever be grateful for that,” Gaglianese said.