NU Cheerleading Squad Takes First Place Honors at Tri-Meet

by Diana Weggler, February 2005

Norwich University Cheerleaders

Front row (l-r): Heather Champagne, Ashley Nelson, Selena Walton, and Peishiue Chen. Back row (l-r): Sara Tuttle, Molly Slater, Nick Fair, Kim Sorber, and Emily Bittner.

Norwich University’s newest student club is already making a name for itself. Competing in only their second competition ever, the Cadets Cheerleading Competition Team won first place in "The Ultimate Cheer Fest - 2005", in both the college division and stunt group categories. The tri-meet, held at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York, featured teams from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Plattsburg State and Norwich. Last fall, the club placed second in the stunt group division in their competition debut at Alfred University.

Selena Walton, student/coach of the squad, was encouraged by the outcome, especially given the team's relative inexperience.

"We only had three weeks to pull together our routine before the February 12 competition," said Walton, a senior architecture major from Troy, N.Y. "Most of the team members had never competed before, so it was a new experience for them."

Norwich University CheerleadersThe squad will have plenty of opportunity to gain experience this spring, with a full slate of competition lined up between now and the end of April. Scheduled meets include the 10th Annual CSA Spirit Festival at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., (March 5); the 17th Annual Northeast Championships at SUNY Albany in Albany, N.Y. (March 12); NEAS Spring Festival at Revere High School in Revere, Mass. (March 26); the New England Cheer & Dance Challenge at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. (April 2); and the Six Flags New England Spring Spectacular in Springfield, Mass. (April 23).

Walton - a fixture on the sidelines of NU sporting events for the past four years - graduates this May, but will return to Norwich in the fall to start working on her Master of Architecture degree. Far from hanging up her pom-poms, Walton is already thinking ahead to another exciting year of competition.

"We will only be losing one team member to graduation, and we already have a few prospective students interested in the program," said Walton.

Walton's goal is to keep her squad highly competitive.

"We will be starting with a difficult tryout in August, followed by an even harder camp. I am hoping that by pushing the cheerleading program to it fullest potential this year it will help to keep it strong in the years to come."

Norwich University CheerleadersParticipants in "The Ultimate Cheerfest" included freshmen Ashley Nelson of Merrimack, NH, Molly Slater of Northfield, Vt. and Sara Tuttle of Lewiston, Maine; sophomores Kim Sorber of Dallas, Penn., Heather Champagne of Allenston, N.H. and Nick Fair of Glenns Falls, N.Y.; junior Emily Bittner of Dedham, Mass.; and seniors Selena Walton of Troy, N.Y. and Peischiue Chen of Salem, N.H. Bittner, Champagne, Walton and Fair comprise the stunt group.

Shelby Wallace, Director of Admissions, serves as the team's advisor, and Giff Slater, Reunion Gift Officer, served as the staff advisor for the weekend competition.