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Cheerleaders shine in WPIAL's first Competitive Spirit Championship

| Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:17 p.m.
Bethel Park High School cheerleaders play a circle game while they wait for the winners to be announced at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Cheerleading routines were judged on a cheer portion and a music portion, with points for pyramids, tumbling, jumps, and partner stunts, among other things. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Northgate High School Cheerleaders wait on deck as they prepare to compete at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Pine-Richland High School cheerleaders strike a pose at the top of a pyramid during their routine at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. The team came away at the end of the day with first place for the Class AAA competition. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Peters Township High School cheerleader Jen Pardini, 15, of Peters Township strikes a pose in the air at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Neshannock High School cheerleaders and cheerleading coaches watch an iPad video of their routine in the bleachers at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Pine-Richland High School cheerleaders strike a pose at the top of a pyramid during their routine at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. The team came away at the end of the day with first place for the Class AAA competition. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
North Hills High School cheerleaders perform their routine at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Supporters take photos of cheerleading competitors at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Shaler Area High School cheerleaders Hannah Goetz, right, 17, Maddie Saver, 18, and Alison Dorn, 17, all of Shaler, hold hands and huddle close as they wait for the winners to be announced at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Pine-Richland High School cheerleaders celebrate their AAA Class win at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. The team came away at the end of the day with first place for the Class AAA competition. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review (CQ: There are two identical sisters in this photo that I'm not certain I have in the right order, I have their phone number and am emailing them the photo to double check the IDs on who is who)
Taylor Griage, 15, of Avalon poses for photo with her gold glitter eyeshadow and matching gold glitter star decal that her and her fellow Northgate High School cheerleaders wore to the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Teams from across the region were judged on two-part routines, a 'cheer portion' and a 'music portion', with points for aspects such as partner stunts, tumbling, execution, and presentation of material among other things. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Northgate High School (red) and Hempfield Area High School (blue) cheerleaders wait on the bleachers for their turn to compete at the inaugural WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Teams from across the region were judged on two-part routines, a 'cheer portion' and a 'music portion', with points for aspects such as partner stunts, tumbling, execution, and presentation of material among other things. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Ron Doran, 44, of Washington, films his daughter's high school cheerleading routine with an iPad at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Doran was surrounded by a group of similar Eden Christian Academy fans, who traveled to watch their friends and family compete with other area cheerleading teams. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
From left to right, Hempfield Area High School cheerleaders Kirsten Payne, 17, Lauren Walter, 18, Shannon Boring, 18, Allyssa Wilson, 17, and Sierra Morningstar, 17, all of Greensburg, put on makeup and watch cheerleading routines at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Northgate High School cheerleading fan and mother Mary Ellen Noel, of Bellevue, lets her allegiances be known with her sweatshirt and photo button of her daughter as she watches from the stands at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Shaler Area High School cheerleaders talk in a huddle before performing their two-part routine at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Teams from across the region performed both back-to-back cheer routines and music routines. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Hempfield Area High School cheerleaders strike a pose at the top of a pyramid during their routine at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Hempfield Area High School cheerleaders perform their routine at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Hempfield Area High School cheerleaders sing chants to their friends and family in the stands as they wait on the mats with Oakland Catholic High School cheerleaders to hear the winners announced at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Norwin High School cheerleader Kaura Bassegio, 18, of North Huntington sings 'repeat-after-me-songs' with her fellow cheerleaders while waiting for the results to be tallied at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Hopewell High School cheerleaders strike a pose at the top of a pyramid during their routine at the first WPIAL Competitive Cheer Championship held at North Hills High School in West View on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review

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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