Lexie Buffan cradles out of a stunt with the Scarborough Titans junior cheerleaders.

Titans cheerleaders go for the gold

The Scarborough Titans senior cheerleading team placed second at a national competition last May.  This year, their eyes are set on first.

“It was a really new team. We had never had a senior team before, so Kaileigh and I were a little nervous,” coach Sarah Traynor said. “But they went in and they seemed really focused. They just hit a really good routine.”

Last year’s second place finish surpassed expectations and set high standards for this year.

“We’re hoping, come the next few months, we can do really well like last year. We’re trying for a higher title,” coach Kaileigh McComb said.

Chelsea Anirood pulls a heel stretch with bases Tatyana Doran, Jesse Ellis, and N’Jaida Lindo (2)

The Scarborough Titans have a junior and senior team, both which compete in the all-girl, level two category. According to McComb, level two designates what stunting and tumbling the team can compete with. Improved tumbling is one of the ways the Titans plan to stand out in their 2013 national competition.

“We implemented a tumbling program into our regular program. So we’re hoping to up our scores in tumbling, which is something we’ve always sort of lacked,” Traynor said. “I think that might give us a little more of an edge this year.”

In three months, six athletes gained a back handspring, the highest tumbling skill permitted in their level. The team is also securing an edge by working on team bonding exercises.

“We’re really putting a lot of emphasis on team as family, do it for your family, train for your family, that kind of thing. And I think that if we had put that emphasis on them last year, maybe last year would have been better,” Traynor said. “It seems to be working really well this year. They’re doing a lot better.”

Coaches Kaileigh McComb and Sarah Traynor (Coaches Kaileigh McComb and Sarah Traynor)

Both junior and senior Titans cheerleaders will compete among 300 teams in May at Cheer Evolution nationals in Niagara Falls.

“This year there is a much different vibe for this team. It’s a little bit smaller, but this year they are tighter,” Traynor said. “I think they want it more.”

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