The Smoky Mountain Competition Cheer Club competed Saturday at the Spirit Xpress Varsity Cheer Competition at Erwin High School. The Senior Sapphires won first place for the Performance Rec 3.1 Level Senior Division. The Junior Diamonds won first place for the Performance Rec Level 1 Junior Division. The Junior Diamonds received an invitation-only bid to attend The Quest, a national recreation cheer competition to be held in Orlando, Florida in March. Both teams qualified to attend the U.S. Finals, an end-of-season competition for both cheer and dance teams held at eight different locations across the United States. Both teams are defending 2019 champions from the U.S. Finals-Louisville, Kentucky location. The club includes girls ages 6-18 from Jackson, Macon and Swain counties. The cheerleaders compete throughout North and South Carolina and Tennessee. Their routine is approximately two and a half minutes and consists of tumbling, jumps, stunts, dance and chant. Many of the girls are also involved with middle school and high school cheer teams. Members of both teams include, from left: (first row) Jolie Davis, Kyleigh Winchester, Khylee Harrison, Shayla Dewantara, Aubree Bradley, Shandi Ward, Zayda Dewantara, Ahlexis Coggins; (second row) Gracie Buck, Emily Schmit, Norah Dunlap, Ashley Clark, Lacilynn Pummer, Miley Holder, Sarah Cook; (third row) Kendra Hall, Samantha Tilley, Taylor Broom, Aubrey McKeever, Haley Welch, Cassin Mathis; (fourth row) Coach Hannah Clark, Autumn Coggins, Carisa Tilley, Coach Tonya Clark, Emily Hopkins, Sierra Kreis and Coach Lisa Phillips.
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