Page 13 - IU Southeast Summer 2012 Mag

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IU Southeast
Summer 2012 11
The 2011-12 IU Southeast cheerleaders and coach Kaelin
Abbott, in black, after they won nationals. Photo provided by
Kaelin Abbott.
Instead of just performing a clean routine, they finished
first, and a cheerleading dynasty was born. The IU Southeast
cheerleading squad would eventually capture three more
championships while defeating much larger schools like
James Madison University and Virginia Tech.
The progress the program has made in just four short years
has raised the expectations for the team. After earning their
fourth straight national title at Cheer Ltd. this year, the team
is looking to compete next year at the National Cheerleaders
Association (NCA) competition.
While both competitions are open to cheer teams from across
the country, the NCA competition is traditionally larger and
more prestigious.
“It is definitely a bigger stage when it comes to
cheerleading,” Abbot said. “ It’s the ‘Big Dance’ for
us. I wanted to make sure before we jumped into that
environment that we had a team that could compete there
and hopefully even win. I feel like we are at a point in the
program where we have the skill level. We have
the girls who have the mentality to do what it
takes to win a national title at that level.”
Senior Eden Abrell
has been a part of
all four national
championship
squads and has
seen the program progress from its humble beginnings to a
national championship contender.
“People are coming from further away to go to school here
because they hear about the program,” Abrell said. “The
program has just grown tremendously since I have been
here.”
It has become much harder to even make the team. The skill
requirements have changed, and the cheerleaders that come
to the program are more technically sound.
“When I came on, the requirements were a lot lower because
we just wanted numbers,” Abrell said. “Now we have higher
requirements.”
The cheerleading program has come a long way in four
years, further than even their head coach believed was
possible in such a short time.
“As I look back over the years, I am in disbelief to see where
we are,” Abbott said. “When I look back I am very
humbled at the experiences that I have had. I
have really enjoyed the fruits of
the labor.”
After all, not many teams can
claim a four-peat.