Cheerleaders shine in WPIAL's first Competitive Spirit Championship

| Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The WPIAL hosted its first competitive spirit cheerleading competition on Saturday, drawing 25 teams and about 300 teenagers from across the region.

Pine-Richland took home the Class AAA crown, while Hopewell won in Class AA and Neshannock in Class A.

“It feels amazing, especially because you're competing against your peers,” Pine-Richland coach Danielle Hitson said.

The PIAA championships will be held Feb. 2 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

Rounding out the top seven qualifiers in Class AAA behind Pine-Richland were Shaler, Butler, North Allegheny, Montour, North Hills and Norwin. Additionally, Bethel Park, Mt. Lebanon and Franklin Regional also qualified.

In Class AA, South Fayette qualified as runner-up behind Hopewell; West Shamokin and Indiana also advanced. In Class A, Bishop Canevin and Laurel qualified behind Neshannock.

Judges graded teams on the cheer portion and a music segment of its performances.

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