UPDATE: Dalers Cheer Makes History

Jenna Cottone and Kiersten Hacker

The Farmingdale Varsity Competition Cheer Team has earned quite the record in recent months, making them a noteworthy presence in the Daler community. Despite starting out as a JV team two years ago, then advancing to varsity just last year, the girls have made incredible progress, already having won all four competitions since the start of the winter season. One of which, the Division 1 Wantagh Cheerleading Competition, led to the team being featured in Newsday for their victories.

However, these accomplishments do not equate to their qualification for UCA Nationals held in DisneyWorld. This was a first for Farmingdale, making their traditional cheer, “We’re the Dalers and we’re making history,” very much true. The captains (Kiersten Hacker, Mianna Welch, Jessica Kielb, Gianna Costa, Jaeda Wallick, and Diana Maughan) and the girls are extremely proud, though they still had a lot of work ahead before Nationals in February. Qualifying for nationals they had placed third in Regionals, and Coach Caitlin Weinsheimer said, “We have a lot of goals in mind,” and they certainly achieved them.

UCA Nationals took place from February 7th-9th with the team competing in the D1 Large Schools, one of the toughest divisions. After an excellent performance in the preliminary round, the Dalers advanced to semifinals in 3rd place out of twenty teams , a fulfilling achievement for the first time ever competing on a national scale. Competing again in the semifinals, the team conquered the stage with their performance once again and managed to place 15th overall out of 45 high school teams.

The success continued with the team clinching another win at the Glen Cove competition upon their return from Nationals, boosting their confidence as they prepared for their most anticipated competition, the Nassau County championship. Qualifying for the second year, the team was eager to prove themselves and defeat rival East Meadow to win the title, which would also qualify them for states. With their best performance of the season, the team dominated the mat, winning the Nassau County D1 Large Team championship with their highest score of a 90.05. The team was elated to achieve their biggest goal, making history once again, and was then headed to Rochester to compete amongst the winners from each of the eleven athletic sections for the state title.

Arriving at the Rochester Institute of Technology for the NYSPHSAA competitive cheerleading championship on March 7th, the team was hungry for another great performance and another historic title. The cheerleaders focused on hitting two perfect routines, regardless of place, they were just proud to be there. In the first round, the team hit a perfect routine, feeding off the energy of the crowd and each other. Feeling proud of their first performance the team then advanced to finals in 3rd place out of the 5 teams that move on. The team then competed later in the finals, ready to leave it all on the mat, as it was the last time the girls would ever compete together on such a special team. With tears in their eyes at the end of the performance, another perfect routine filled the cheerleaders with overwhelming emotions and pride in their final routine. The sentimental performance motivated the team to go out and hit for each other, to conquer all the skills one last time as a family. Their hard work on and off the mat certainly did pay off because the team made history once again, clinching the New York State D1 Large Team cheerleading championship- the first cheerleading team in the Farmingdale athletic program to win the state title and the first team from Nassau County to win the title.

There is no better feeling for the team than knowing that three years of hard work has finally led to accomplishing all the goals they set their minds to. A dream come true, the Farmingdale competitive cheerleading team had their most successful, memorable, fulfilling season, one that will certainly be remembered forever.