Marist High School's varsity cheerleading team was the state runner-up in the IHSA large division finals held February 2 and 3 in Bloomington, Ill. Marist was the only Catholic school in the top 25 teams in the large division.
The team gave a clean routine on Friday evening qualifying for Saturday's finals. They were in third place at that point, though the scores do not carry over to the finals.
Saturday the RedHawks were flawless as they opened the entire competition. The team was thrilled as Marist was announced as the second place team in the state.
Sisters and fellow flyers Abby '18 and Kelly '21 Arvesen were excited to be a part of the experience. "It was good to finish out the year that way and with this team," Abby said. "We were really close this year." Kelly agreed adding that making the varsity team as a freshman was intimidating but the girls welcomed her into the group. "It was the best weekend of my life," Kelly said of the state tournament. It was special for them as sisters, too. They competed together in grammar school at Queen of Martyrs. "I didn't think we'd ever walk across the [state] podium together," Abby said. "My parents were really excited. They were crying."
Indeed, all the team members and coaches were thrilled with the outcome after a season filled with hard work. “I am truly blessed and grateful to be able to coach such a great group of athletes," first year head coach Jordan Miller said. "They came together as a family this season and left their hearts out on the mat. Their hard work and dedication to perfection proved that this year was truly a comeback and not a setback!”
Marist’s program has garnered great success in the past decade. In 2015, the team finished with the top sectional score, advancing them to the IHSA state competition, where the team finished in fifth place. In 2013, the team had its best finish at the time, taking home the state runner-up trophy. They followed that with a third place finish in 2014. The program also won a state title in the Illinois Cheerleading Coaches Association (ICCA) before it was an IHSA sport.
Additionally, the junior varsity squad placed first in the ICCA state finals in December 2017, so the future of the program is bright.
Congratulations to Coach Jordan Miller, his staff, the student-athletes, and parents!
Check out their sectional routine: