WSU Cheer Squad win at nationals

WSU Cheer won at the USA Spirit Collegiate National Championships


Courtesy of WSU Cheer

WSU Cheer after they won at nationals.

GABRIELLE BOWMAN, Evergreen news co-editor

WSU Cheer Squad won the USA Spirit Collegiate Nationals Championships in Anaheim for the second year in a row and is preparing to go to the National Cheerleader Association Nationals next year. 

The cheer squad’s head coach Frank Molina said the air walking into the building at nationals can be described as hectic and competitive. 

On top of universities competing at nationals, there was a high school competition going on at the same time, so the venue was packed with many cheerleaders, Molina said.

“This is actually the second year that Washington State has gone to the competition and the second year we’ve won,” said Molina. 

The team won the nationals in the show cheer division of the competition, a 2-minute and 15-second routine, the main routine of the competition. 

The cheer squad has been practicing for the competition since October every Monday through Thursday with an open gym on Fridays. 

As a way to practice for nationals and  game day performances simultaneously, the team implemented their routines for nationals into their gameday routines.

“My motto was that if you do something long enough before the competition, there’s no way that you can drop or lose,” said Molina. 

For people on the team, the win represents a legacy bigger than any team member. 

“It just felt like all of our hard work paid off,” said Alyssa Ireta, cheer captain and senior digital technology and culture major. “Winning with my cheer team family next to me. That was just amazing like, leaving this legacy because I’m not coming back to cheer next year I think was honestly the best feeling in the world.” 

Emotions were high for the team once they won. Seniors who are graduating knowing this is their last competition and that they are moving on made the competition emotional even to those who are not very emotional, said Evelyn Rowe, cheer captain and basic medical sciences and pre-medicine major.

“My body just doesn’t let me cry often, and I even cried on day two after our last performance because I’m just gonna be so sad to give up this part of my life and not be surrounded by these people day in and day out,” said Rowe. 

Even with the bittersweet win for the seniors on the team for the others, it was a way to prove themselves and push themselves further for the next year.

Specifically, the cheer squad went up against New Mexico State University one of their main competitors, and Coach Molina’s alma mater who has not won a competition since Molina cheered for them back in 2017.

“He kind of had even more to prove. He wants to come back as a coach and beat the team that raised him and that’s exactly what we did,” Rowe said. 

However, the team was able to achieve this win similar to last year because they came together as a family and motivated each other to push themselves to their fullest potential, Molina said. 

“We are gonna put our best products out there and we’re gonna do our best skills and have the most fun and believe in each other,” said Nathaniel Spears, cheer captain and junior psychology major.

When becoming the cheer coach two years ago, Molina wanted to instill a family atmosphere filled with good people, he said.

“As long as you’re a good person, Washington State University cheers for you,” Molina said.