Moraine Valley Community College’s Cheer Team, including one Oak Lawn resident, won a first place award at the Patriotic Open Championship sponsored by American Cheer Power at Northern Illinois University in Rockford. More than 100 teams competed.
Under the direction of Dr. Alison Lacny, Sociology professor and head coach, the team, which is the first from Moraine Valley to compete, won first place in the Level 6, International Open Division. The winning routine was a cheer and dance routine that included coordinated jumps, stunts and tumbling.
In addition, Jaret Ahern, team captain, was selected as the recipient of the Coaches’ Choice Award, which is presented to one athlete selected from a pool of athletes nominated by coaches. The team also collected donations while at the competition to contribute to the troops overseas through an organization of military moms and wives in Texas.
“The team was amazing at competition, but we didn’t get there alone,” Dr. Lacny said. “We had a lot of support from our families as well as the college. Student Life and Athletics have been two of our greatest supporters from the very beginning.”
Cheer Team members include Ahern, of Midlothian; Cassandra Larsen, of Oak Forest; Marissa James, of Oak Lawn; co-captain Missy Carroll, of Chicago Ridge; Jasmine Wooten, of Evergreen Park; Aracely Madrigal, of Evergreen Park; and Olivia Burbatt, of Midlothian.
As the winner in its division, the Cheer Team received a bid to the 2018 U.S. finals, which are held in eight cities throughout the country in the spring. The Moraine Valley team is looking to attend the finals competition in Chicago.
Photo Caption: Team members are (front row left to right) Cassandra Larsen, Jaret Ahern, Olvia Burbatt, (back row left to right) Marissa James, Missy Carroll, Jasmine Wooten, and Aracely Madriga