Squads leap for joy at annual spiritfest

Seventy-five cheer teams jammed the Oak Harbor gymnasium Saturday for the 11th annual Spiritfest competition.

“It was a packed house again this year,” OHHS coach and event organizer Pam Headridge said. “We could not have handled any more teams.”

Despite a large number of participants coming from areas as far away as the Tri-Cities and Vancouver, B.C., it was the local teams that dominated the competition.

Oak Harbor’s large team co-ed squad won the morning’s big event, scoring 272 out of a possible 300 points. They out-stunted, out-flipped and out-tossed five other large schools and finished 25 points better than second-place Port Moody of Vancouver, B.C.

“I was blown away,” Headridge said. “They hit all their stunts and projected lots of confidence.”

Oak Harbor’s smaller five-girl stunt team of Natalie Lumbo, Tiffany Bourlet, Samantha Culver, Lauren Aldana and Ashlie Robinson also took first place in their six-team field, scoring 123 of a possible 150 points.

Headridge was excited at the stunt team’s performance because they have two new members this year and have struggled in practice.

“They have been working so hard at practice, but never could make it through the routine without dropping a stunt,” she said. “Under pressure they hit everything with only a minor bobble.”

The Wildcats’ partner stunt team of CJ Wong and Natalie Lumbo also took first, while Tyler Theriault beat out eight competitors for the individual cheer title with 136 out of 150 points.

Coupeville High School also represented the island, earning first place in the small varsity division.

The Wolves placed first in their division, beating out Kings High School of Seattle and Everett High School.

Along with the local high schools, Oak Harbor’s junior Liberty Cheer Squad also was successful.

The group brought home four first place trophies and one third place. The mini prep level one group took first out of four teams; the junior prep level two team finished first of six teams; Jember Jensen won the individual prep title and Angel Williams won the mini individuals title. The senior small co-ed level four group took third overall in their division.

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