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Bethel Regional High School cheerleading team takes second at state

In Warrior blue, yellow, and white, the Bethel Regional High School cheerleading team jumped, danced, and stuck their tricks to take second place at the ASAA Division II State Championship in Anchorage on March 19. The Kenai Central High School Kards placed first at the 2024 Division II Cheer Championship.

“It was really exciting,” said cheerleading co-captain, senior Jordan Klejka. She said that the team has been growing all season. “It felt amazing. We've had a really good season. And so we were really just excited going into state, and our focus was having fun with it. So we're more trying to have fun than be technical. And it really worked, because then all of our technique just fell into place.”

In addition to the team’s second-place finish at state, Klejka was named to the all-tournament team. She also made the all-tournament team at the Western Region Championships earlier in March, where the Bethel Regional High School cheerleading team placed first.

It’s the second year in a row Bethel has taken second in state. Last year, Kenai Central High School also placed first in the Division II state championship.

Klejka said that she attributes the team’s success this year to the rebuilding they’ve done following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The difference is “just more experience, because after COVID we didn't have all that knowledge,” Klejka said. “And we've been slowly building it back up and getting more knowledge meeting other teams, which has been really nice.”

As for what it takes to put on a state podium-worthy performance?

“Lots and lots of energy and a strong team, [a] great dynamic between the team,” Klejka said.

It’s Klejka and her senior co-captain Maya Komulainen’s third time at state, and ties for their best performance. Klejka said that it’s a good end to the season.

“I'm just so proud of my team,” Klejka said. “I love them all so much.”

Shane Iverson contributed to this reporting. 

Sage Smiley is KYUK's news director.