Northern Star: Duluth East Cheerleading

For this week's segment, we take a look at the Duluth East Cheer team, who is going to nationals for the first time in program history.

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth East Cheer team has spent most of the year on the sidelines of Friday night lights, cheering on the Greyhounds each week. But over the past month, they’ve been putting in the work for competition season.

“We do a lot more performances for our school and then we work on competitions so they only had about a month to do this,” head coach Hannah Alstead said.

And that month of work paid off as the Greyhounds won their division at their first competition of the season, the 10,000 Lakes regional in Minnetonka.

“I was so happy, I didn’t think they were calling our division, I thought they got it wrong. I was like oh my gosh, that’s not right. But it was, so I was really happy,” senior captain Amanda Noe said.

But the win was even more special as it gave Duluth East a bid to UCA Nationals, and they’re going for the first time in program history.

“This year it was an amazing feeling getting the bid just because, I’ve been working for three years for this big dream and to finally go is amazing,” senior captain Cassie Sepp said.

Duluth East had a policy which didn’t allow the team to go, even if they received a bid. That policy was lifted two years ago, so the Greyhounds are finally nationals bound.

“For the first time, I’ll get to see my team walk out of the Disney castle and onto the big blue mat and that’s probably the most exciting part about it,” Alstead said.

Nationals takes place Feb. 8-10 in Orlando, Florida, and the Greyhounds are putting in the work every morning to prepare. They practice Monday-Thursday from 6:30 to 8:00 in the morning to make their routine the best it can be.

“We’re just going to keep perfecting our routine. We can try to add different stunts, we can try to add more advanced stunts but we’re really focusing on keeping it sharp and clean because that’s what they like to see on the mat and that’s what we want to show, that’s what we’re known for being sharp so definitely want to bring that to nationals,” Alstead added.

This a special moment for the team and although they’d love to win, they’re just happy they finally made it.

“I feel like there’s no other way I’d want to end my senior year and there’s no other team I’d want to go down to nationals with,” Sepp said.

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