Lake Travis High School cheerleaders win national championship

The Lake Travis High School cheerleaders have something to yell about. The Lady Cavaliers garnered the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) Senior and Junior High School National Championship held December 28-29, 2008 at the Dallas Convention Center.

More than 3,000 participants from 17 states competed in 23 divisions defined by skill level, number of athletes, and All-Girl or Coed designation. The Senior and Junior High School National Championship is one of four national championships administered each year by the NCA.

"Last year, our competition team placed second, missing the national title by two-hundredths of a point," said LTHS Cheer coach Tiffany Phelps. "It was our goal all year to not let that happen again. Countless hours of practice and hard work paid off for these girls." According to Phelps, the NCA title is the first ever for a Lake Travis squad and the first for an Austin-area school.

The Lake Travis Cheer team consists of seniors Katie Durrett, Abbey Lunney, Chelsea Miller, and Kristin Zevely; juniors Maddie Allison, Haley Hatsell, Blaire Kelly, and Brianna Roughton; sophomores Shannon Hansen, Kendall Lunney, Emily Vikesland, and Ashlyn Watts; and freshmen Haley Carter, Megan Crockett, Jessica Jordan, Becky Karako, Lindsay Kridler, Ashley Pannkuk, Kaley Smith, and Christen Uselton.

J.M. Farias, owner of Austin Cheer Factory, choreographed the award-winning routine. Upon conclusion of their presentation, the girls received a five-foot trophy, a large championship banner, and individual letterman-type jackets.

NCA was founded by Lawrence R. Herkimer in 1948 when he held the first cheerleader camp at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. That beginning gave birth to the worldwide enthusiasm for all things "cheerleader." Known globally as "Herkie", he went on to create and patent the Pompon, the Spirit Stick (the most coveted spirit/sportsmanship award at cheer camps), the "Herkie" jump done by cheerleaders around the world. Herkimer also established the first "Cheerleader Supply Company" to meet the growing need for uniforms, shoes, poms, megaphones, and other cheer materials.

NCA hosts summer cheerleading and dance camps at universities from coast to coast where curriculum includes not only technical skills and safety training, but also teamwork, leadership, personal responsibility, integrity, and the development of all-around athletes.

For more information, contact the Lake Travis ISD Office of Communications at (512) 533-6046.