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Gila Ridge cheer qualifies for state

GRHS cheer Gila Ridge High School varsity cheerleaders qualified for the state championships this past weekend as they competed in a qualifying event at Canyon View High School.

The Hawks finished in seventh place in the Small Coed Division, which was the last spot to qualify in the 18-school field. Gila Ridge was 0.60 points ahead of eighth place Willow Canyon High School.

“The kids showed up and did exactly what we asked them to do,” said GRHS Cheer Coach Sarah Dains. “We’re very proud of the way the conducted themselves on and off the mat.”

This is the second consecutive year the Hawks have participated in the state finals. Last year in addition to the State Championship Competition, the Hawks also competed at Nationals in the Stunt Team division with Kandyn Delaney, Faith Ellison, Ashley Firsek, Jayden McGee and Mackenzie Scott part of the group that qualified.

“This competition [at Canyon View] was exhilarating,” said GRHS cheerleader Adrianna Frost. “It was one of the greatest feelings of being part of a true team.”

At the 2019 State Championships the Hawks finished in fifth place in the Large Coed Division and have their sights set on improving this time around.

“For state we’re looking to clean up our routine, make some subtle changes,” Dains said. “We’re hoping to walk away with a top three finish.”

The state championships will take place Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020 at Chase Field in Phoenix. More details about the event can be found by visiting

James Kuzniak