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Here are the inaugural winners from the first sanctioned competitive cheer championships

Crimson Cliffs won the inaugural 4A/5A coed competitive cheer state championship, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023 at the UCCU Center in Orem.

Crimson Cliffs won the inaugural 4A/5A coed competitive cheer state championship, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023 at the UCCU Center in Orem. (KSL.com Sports)


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OREM — The first cheer championships sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities Association in state history are headed south.

Crimson Cliffs clinched the 4A, 5A coed division competitive cheer title, and St. George-area rival Snow Canyon won the 3A, 4A all-girls division championship at the inaugural competitive cheer championships in UHSAA history Wednesday at the UCCU Center at Utah Valley University.

Gunnison Valley (1A, 2A coed), North Summit (1A, 2A all-girls) and Juab (3A coed) also added a title.

But to the Mustangs went the final trophy of the night, the crowning achievement of a sanctioned meet that has been in the works for at least 10 years, event organizers said.

"It's unreal," said Crimson Cliffs coach Becky Erickson, a first-year head coach herself. "This may be the best thing that's ever happened to me. I just wanted them to go out and do the best that they could, and I think that they did.

"A lot of these athletes train for hours and hours and hours."

Much like their peers in other sports, the Mustangs practiced 20 hours per week leading up to Wednesday's state finale. But that practice time includes games, when each sideline dance, timeout routine and other performance also counted toward those practice hours.

All told, Erickson estimates Crimson Cliffs — like most teams at Wednesday's state meet — had around 12 hours of additional practice time per week.

By the end of the season, Erickson told her Mustangs to relax, trust their training, and wait for the "magic" to happen.

"I wanted them to just come together as one. We tried to focus on finding that synergy, because when you feel that synergy, nothing can break you. You can feel it, the judges can feel it, the crowd can feel it. It's just magic.

"It's really hard to get. But this team came together, and we found it."

In the first year of competitive cheer as a state-wide event sanctioned by the UHSAA, the competition went off with few hiccups Wednesday afternoon.

Teams were given scores based on four criteria: a combination of stunts and pyramids; jumps, tumbling and dance; cheer worth 100 points for show; and cheer, dance, and fight song criteria, combining for 900 points for game time.

Separate classification titles were presented for all-girls and coed divisions, with other slight modifications to judging for 1A and 2A schools compared to their competitors in 3A through 6A.

The 5A and 6A classifications will wrap up Friday at the UCCU Center, beginning at 8:30 a.m. MST.

UHSAA competitive cheer championships

Wednesday, Jan. 25

UCCU Center, Orem

Full results available at uhsaa.org.

1A, 2A Coed

  • Champions: Gunnison Valley
  • Runners-up: Beaver
  • Sideline/Timeout Fight: South Sevier
  • Sideline/Timeout Dance: Gunnison Valley
  • Sideline/Timeout Cheer: Beaver
  • Combined game time: Beaver
  • Combined show: South Sevier

1A, 2A All-girl

  • Champions: North Summit
  • Runners-up: North Sevier
  • Sideline/Timeout Fight: North Summit
  • Sideline/Timeout Dance: North Summit
  • Sideline/Timeout Cheer: North Summit
  • Combined game time: North Summit
  • Combined show: North Summit

3A Coed

  • Champions: Juab
  • Runners-up: Emery
  • Sideline/Timeout Fight: Juab
  • Sideline/Timeout Dance: Emery
  • Sideline/Timeout Cheer: Juab
  • Combined show: Juab

3A, 4A All-girl

  • Champions: Snow Canyon
  • Runners-up: Desert Hills
  • Sideline/Timeout Fight: Snow Canyon
  • Sideline/Timeout Dance: Desert Hills
  • Sideline/Timeout Cheer: Snow Canyon
  • Combined game time: Snow Canyon
  • Combined show: Snow Canyon

4A, 5A Coed

  • Champions: Crimson Cliffs
  • Runners-up: Bear River
  • Sideline/Time Fight: Crimson Cliffs
  • Sideline/Timeout Dance: Bear River
  • Sideline/Timeout Cheer: Crimson Cliffs
  • Combined game time: Crimson Cliffs
  • Combined show: Crimson Cliffs

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A proud graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Walker has covered BYU for KSL.com since 2015, while also mixing in prep sports, education, and anything else his editors assign him to do.

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