Cheerleading finishes third in state


Marist High School's varsity cheerleading team finished third at the IHSA large division finals held February 7 and 8 in Bloomington, Ill. Marist was the only Catholic school in the top 25 teams in the large division and this year's trophy was the third earned by the program in as many seasons. 

The team gave a clean routine on Friday evening qualifying for Saturday's finals. They were in fifth place at that point, though the scores do not carry over to the finals. 

Saturday, the RedHawks were exceptional, hitting their elements and giving an excellent routine.  The team was thrilled as Marist was announced as the third place team in the state. 

"It's nerve-wracking waiting for the results, but it feels so good to be with your teammates," said sophomore Laila Dorsey. "It felt absolutely amazing to hear us called. We were so happy to make the podium especially because of how close we are as a team this year."

Indeed, all the team members and coaches were thrilled with the outcome after a season filled with hard work. Senior Caitlin Richter has gone downstate four times with the program and said this year was special. "We started from scratch this year to build our team and it felt even better than before that we made it [to the podium]," she said.

Marist’s program now has the second highest number of state trophies in the school's history. In 2013, 2018, and 2019 the team took home the state runner-up trophy. They also earned a third place finish in 2014. Marist has qualified for the state tournament 14 of the 15 years that cheer has been an IHSA sport. 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 this season, so the future of the program is bright.

"I'm honored to have the opportunity--especially at a Catholic school--to have this kind of program," Dorsey added. "We are proud of what we have accomplished together."

Richter said cheerleading is now a "new legacy" at Marist and is excited to see the fundamentals of the program being passed down. The program's success, she said, is helping people see how strong the program is. "Most people see us on the sidelines and think that is what we do," she said. "But we work ten months a year on our skills and it's important."  Their accomplishments, she said, are getting the attention of others and they are seeing the team's hard work and talent. 


Check out their state final routine:

2019-2020 Team Members

Kelly Arvesen 2021  
Madison Bodin 2021  
Delaney Budewitz 2022  
Laila Dorsey 2022  
Alexis Gaichas 2020  
Myah Gillespie 2019  
Gianna Granat 2021  
Gianna Marie Ibrado 2022  
Caroline Kennedy 2021  
Catherine Kennedy 2021  
Mattingly Malczewski 2021  
Ella McGrath 2021  
Riley Misch 2021  
Natalie Mozdzen 2021  
Ashlin Palzkill 2021  
Nora Poole 2020  
Eva Quebbeman 2022  
Bridey Regan 2021  
Caitlin Richter 2020  
Delaney Ryan 2021  
Charlotte Sawicki 2021  
Sophia Sikorski 2022  
Caitlin Stokes 2022  
Brianna Wesselhoff 2021     Manager