Corner Canyon cheer win first regional title, place in top 20 at nationals
Corner Canyon High’s cheer team competed this year to win the region title and placed in the top five at state and 20th in the nation. (Whitney Lunt/Corner Canyon High)
Corner Canyon High School cheerleaders have something to cheer about — winning their first ever regional title.
Both Corner Canyon the junior varsity and varsity team won the competition, bringing home first-place championship trophies.
“I’m really pleased,” Corner Canyon coach Whitney Lunt said about the Jan. 21 competition. “The girls did well executing their routine and the judges appreciated and rewarded their hard work. It was a lot of fun and gave them a quick boost they needed for state and nationals.”
The state competition was the next week and even though the wrong music was cued up and played for the junior varsity squad, they put their best effort on the floor, Lunt said.
“It was the wrong music that they played and if we would have started over with the correct music, our team would have received a penalty so they kept their cool under the circumstances and did an amazing job,” she said.
That performance earned the team a second-place trophy to bring back to the school. Varsity placed fourth.
“It was our best performance of the year and the team came off the floor feeling super, super good. We had the least amount of deductions for mistakes taken off and everyone felt energized and great. It really gave us a lot of confidence going into nationals,” Lunt said.
The varsity and JV teams qualified for nationals when they took first at a qualifier Dec. 10, earning two trophies and a banner to place at their school.
At the National High School Cheerleading Championship, held Feb. 11 and Feb. 12 in Orlando, the JV team first advanced to the final round in the large JV division.
“No Utah team had ever made it to the finals so they were awarded more points for executing their performance with higher difficulty,” Lunt said.
The team brought home the eighth-place trophy for their final round along with big ribbons indicating they advanced to the semifinals and finals.
“They hit everything and looked great, but there were teams that were amazing and that could beat varsity teams. The JV girls felt super good; they were stoked,” she said.
The varsity team also brought home a ribbon indicating they advanced to the semifinals and were in the top 20 of the 58 teams that competed.
“The varsity dropped a few stunts and didn’t execute as well as they can, but they still put themselves out there. They compete in the small varsity division, which is only 12 girls. It’s the hardest competition at nationals so getting in the semifinals is difficult,” she said.
Eight of the varsity squad members return next season to lead the cheerleaders, who already held try-outs in early March.
“JV already has talent and a lot more talent is coming in, so our girls already know cheer and have a skillset, so immediately we will be able to work them at higher level,” Lunt said.
Corner Canyon cheerleaders need to maintain a 3.0 grade-point average or higher with no Fs and have good citizenship as well as be able to hit required tumbling requirements.
Even though cheer members start practicing stunt work in the spring and learn routines in the summer and cheer for football, volleyball, boys and girls basketball and wrestling teams, the squad also volunteers at a local refugee center babysitting and helping read to children so parents can take classes.
They also plan to hold a mini-cheerleading clinic and this past year, held a 5K race to help raise funds for a school football member who was diagnosed with bone cancer.
“Everyone participates. They realize that as Draper residents, they’re blessed and can help others who need their help and at the same time, realize they’re grateful for what they have,” Lunt said.
Corner Canyon moves into a 5A region next year, as will a number of schools they currently compete against. However, Jordan High will give them a new look.
“Jordan is pretty consistent, so we’re excited to face them and other teams next year,” Lunt said.