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Anderson edged second-place Hartland by less than two points to secure its second-straight Division 1 state championship on Friday.
COMPETITIVE CHEERLEADING: Anderson repeats as state champs (PHOTOS)
The Titans rose above the competition for their second state title in school history.
The Anderson cheerleading team goes to the state finals nearly every year, but over the course of the past two seasons, the Titans have been a dominant force at the season’s final meet.
The Titans, who won their first-ever state title last season, defended their Division 1 state crown Friday evening with a 780.36 first-place score.
The Titans edged runner-up Hartland by 1.9 points to claim the title for the second straight year.
“The pressure was intense in defending the title,” said Coach Colette Norscia. “It took a lot more work to stay at the top than it did to get there in the first place.”
It was an amazingly close meet as fewer than 10 points separated the top six teams.
Anderson never led in the competition until after the final round. The Titans were in third place behind Rochester and Rochester Hills Stoney Creek after the first round.
The Titans turned in the second best second-round score and trailed Rochester by just nine-tenths of a point heading into the last routine.
But in the last rotation the Titans slammed a meet-best 318.70, while Rochester slipped to a 309.9.
Hartland, which was in fourth place after the first round and third after the second, slipped in to steal the runner-up position.
After leading for two rounds, Rochester’s final-round effort, which was only seventh best among the eight teams, pushed the Falcons all the way back to fifth place.
Anderson’s state championship capped a season that saw the Titans win another Downriver League championship and a district title as well as several invitational competitions this season.
The best news of all for the Anderson is that most of the championship team returns next season.
“We had a large group of juniors who shouldered much of the responsibility of shaping this season’s team,” said Norscia. “It was a huge a challenge as over half of the team was new to the varsity level in November.
“With only three seniors on the current team, we will be returning 22 athletes next year.”
The 2013 state champion Titans are Shelby Bell, Gabriella Buscemi, Jaclyn Carrico, Tori Ceighton, Samantha Darrell, Amber Droste, Hailey Evans, Morgan Farrah, Allyson Flannery, Nicole Fobar, Jordan Jones, Marisa Laginess, Siara Langlois, Ashley Lawyer, Aleta Madera, Kayla Miletti, Bonita Overton, Hailey Pitcher, Brittany Prister, Madison Small, Brianna Suessine, Sydney Tackett, Brittany Walton Madison Wilson, Holly Zmijewski.
Along the way to the title, Norscia collected district and regional coach-of-they year honors and the Titans with an overall 3.4 grade-point average are in the running for all-state academic honors.
Coaching the Titans, along with Norscia is Stacy Shaw. They are assisted by Scott Quinn and Mo Saaidi.
Last Updated: 3/5/2013 12:36:20 PM EST