This past weekend HCE took three teams from its competitive All-Star Program to Destin, FL to compete in the Athletic Championship All Star Nationals. While all the athletes traveled separate with families and team moms, everyone was eager to meet up and practice Friday morning outside the competition venue. The teams practiced hard with sweat on their brows and sun in their eyes. Everyone was so excited to finally be in Florida. Practices went smooth with parents cheering on; all the athletes were ready to compete.
The first day of competition was on Saturday and was worth 25% of the final score. The Jr. 2’s were the first team to represent HCE on the National stage. Nerves were a little high walking out under the lights, but the performance faces came on once the music started. The girls executed an excellent routine with a few bobbles and an unexpected pyramid fall, but finished their routine strong. Senior 3 was next to perform and hit a near perfect routine with only a stunt fall. Senior 4.2 wrapped up the day with a routine that didn’t drop a single thing.
Saturday night was all about the girls. A few seniors from the team had missed their Prom to come compete at nationals. There couldn’t have been a better place to throw a prom away from home. The beach was lit with candles and the girls all dressed up for the occasion. Dinner was on the beach, and some team bonding in the sand to keep everyone’s spirits high even though some were missing their special night back home.
Sunday was day two of the competition and worth 75% of the final score. During warm ups the athletes stayed focused, minded the guiding words from their coaches, and executed skills perfectly in the warm up tent. Emotions were tense back stage and again the Junior 2’s were first to perform. They nailed their pyramid and executed a near flawless routine minus one stunt bobble, but raised their score from day one. Everyone was so excited and proud when the girls finished in 7th place.
Senior 3 was next, they were in 2nd place after day one and all the athletes wanted to know how close it was. “Close enough to win.” Said their coaches in the huddle during warm up. “You need to go out there and perform like you have shown us time and time again in the gym, work together, concentrate on what’s important, and leave it all on the floor.” Warm up in the tent went as planned and the girls were looking as good as ever. Back stage the girls only had one thing on their mind. HIT THIS ROUTINE. Senior 3 took the floor and had one of the best performances of the year! Everyone was so overcome with emotions when the team was crowned National Champions, all the hard work and practice had finally come full circle. The celebration was short lived as crossovers had to get back to the warm up area to prepare with the 4.2 team.
The Senior 4.2 had a lot of work to do to improve their score from day one with no drops, but somehow got out there and performed like champions, hitting all their stunts and again a near flawless routine. After being announced as national champions, they were informed they will be put up against other 4.2 teams in the country in an online all-levels championship. All coaches and parents were so proud of the athletes and the performances they all had.
It was a great weekend; everyone enjoyed the white sandy beaches, ocean and all the sunshine that Florida had to offer. Memories were made, championships were won, and all in all HCE represented Colorado with pride, dignity, and class.