By Emery Miller EBS Contributor

Have you ever been held up in the air on someone’s hands, only to be thrown higher, relying completely on the people below to catch you? On March 17 and 18, Lone Peak High School cheerleaders participated in CheerFest, a statewide cheerleading competition in Lewistown, Montana. The girls went up against fifteen different cheer, dance and stunt teams from across Montana.

The original team of 11 girls started practicing their routine in January, not expecting to lose any girls. However, the team lost one girl due to a torn hamstring and another to a storm on the East Coast that delayed her return from Puerto Rico. The nine remaining girls regrouped, recruited another member and reworked their routine.

Lone Peak’s cheer coach Karen Maybee and Paige Deibert, an MSU cheerleader who assisted this season, helped the girls bring home a first place class C trophy. This is the first competition Lone Peak’s cheerleaders participated in, and the girls also placed second overall, scoring just four fewer points than first place.

Maybee, a former NFL Buffalo Bills cheerleader, brought her expertise to the coaching position, highlighting each participant’s strengths.

CheerFest competition official Jennifer Pfau said, “I was very impressed with the performance by Lone Peak High School. … They had the tightest motions of any team at the competition and their routine was so sharp and fun to watch.

“The judges obviously agreed, as not only did they win first place in their division, but they took second overall in the competition. This is a rare feat for a team attending the competition for the first time, especially for such a young team like Lone Peak. These girls were outstanding and I can’t wait to watch them again next year!”

Emery Miller is a Lone Peak High School cheerleader.