January 21st, 2011

Mercy Cheer Is N-U-M-B-E-R One

Chris Jung

Senior Writer

Mercy Cheer Is N-U-M-B-E-R One
photo courtesy of Deidre Mackin

Jaguars squad places fist in the country for School Cheer

Give me an "N!"

Give me a "U!"

GIve me an "M!"

There's no need in spelling it out becaue the facts are clear: the Mercy Academy Advanced Varsity Cheerleading Squad is No. 1 in the country.

Under the tutelage of fourth-year Head Coach Roy Niemi, the Jaguars have jumped, stunted and handsprung its way into the top spot in of the "School Cheer Team" category, as decided by www.theusfinals.com

The Mercy team, which is a 20-member squad, is led by a trio of seniors. Taylor Inghram, Christina Burkhardt and Katie Epps have been the catalysts behind the squad that is receiving national recognition for its perormance in competition. Mercy practices two and a half hours a day, three times a week, and performs through a "Jam" packed season of competitions, appearances and performances from from July to March.

The newest national rankings, which were released following the month of December, consist of the top 25 teams that qualified during that particular month and had the highest score earned during competition used in the rankings. In order for teams to qualify, they must compete in JamBrand events.

The Mercy Intermediate Cheer squad was No. 3 on the same list, giving the Jaguars two of the top three spots. Highland Hills Middle School in Georegtown, IN was ranked No. 2.

Mercy Cheer has consistently finished in the Top 3 at competitions, traveling to cities such as Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Nashville,  Myrtle Beach and Orlando to put its talents on display. Niemi and his squad have won national titles in every season since 2008.

U.S. Finals, the organization responsible for ranking Mercy and other teams, has grown into the single most successful multi-brand event in the entire U.S. attracting over 1300 teams this past season in just its 5th year. The U.S. Finals is an end-of-the-year event aimed at crowning champions in all divisions and levels of cheer and dance and giving teams a chance to see where they rank against other teams in their respective divisions.

Mercy Academy will host its own competition on Feb. 5 and then plans to compete in the JamFest Nationals March 19-20 in Louisville.


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