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updated: 2/11/2014 11:42 AM

Suburban cheer teams take home top prizes

Conant, Buffalo Grove, Neuqua among winners

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  • Conant High School's cheer team performs in the coed team category at the IHSA state finals on Saturday in Bloomington.

       Conant High School's cheer team performs in the coed team category at the IHSA state finals on Saturday in Bloomington.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Grayslake Central High School waits for winners to be announced in the IHSA state finals Saturday.

       Grayslake Central High School waits for winners to be announced in the IHSA state finals Saturday.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington High School's cheer team celebrates taking third place in the coed team category at the IHSA state finals on Saturday in Bloomington.

       Barrington High School's cheer team celebrates taking third place in the coed team category at the IHSA state finals on Saturday in Bloomington.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Suburban high school cheer teams swept the coed category at the IHSA cheer finals in Bloomington on Saturday. In the center is Conant with the first place trophy, at left is Buffalo Grove with the second place trophy and at right is Barrington with the 3rd place trophy.

       Suburban high school cheer teams swept the coed category at the IHSA cheer finals in Bloomington on Saturday. In the center is Conant with the first place trophy, at left is Buffalo Grove with the second place trophy and at right is Barrington with the 3rd place trophy.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Neuqua Valley High School's cheer team performs in the large team category at the IHSA state finals on Saturday in Bloomington.

       Neuqua Valley High School's cheer team performs in the large team category at the IHSA state finals on Saturday in Bloomington.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles East High School's cheer team performs in the large team category at the IHSA state finals on Saturday in Bloomington.

       St. Charles East High School's cheer team performs in the large team category at the IHSA state finals on Saturday in Bloomington.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Hampshire High School's cheerleading squad performs in the state finals Saturday in Bloomington.

       Hampshire High School's cheerleading squad performs in the state finals Saturday in Bloomington.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report

The Conant High School cheerleading squad clinched the state title Saturday in Bloomington.

The favorite beat out nine other teams in the coed division on the way to bringing home a trophy to the Hoffman Estates school.

Returning state champ Buffalo Grove was another top finisher, despite a rocky routine in Friday's preliminary round.

"We weren't even sure we would make it to day two," head coach Jeffrey Siegal said.

But all of the 40 squads competing in four categories started Saturday's finals with a clean slate.

Despite an intimidating field, Buffalo Grove banded together and planned to celebrate at Maggiano's in Schaumburg.

"They gave their best performance," Siegal said. "As a coach, as an educator, that's exactly what I want. I was very pleased."

Crystal Lake Central's goal for the season was just a trip to Bloomington. The medium-sized squad met that target and then some -- making school history with a top-five finish.

"They had already made myself and the school proud," coach Elizabeth Brauneis said.

Here's how other area squads finished:

Coed: Barrington took third place; Metea Valley, fourth; Elk Grove, fifth; Wauconda, sixth; Mundelein, eighth; and Naperville North, tenth.

Large: Neuqua Valley came in second, only about 2.5 points shy of earning the title for the Naperville school. Rounding out the top 10 were Lake Zurich in sixth, Stevenson in eighth and St. Charles East in ninth.

Medium: Crystal Lake Central finished No. 5; Grayslake North, seventh; Grayslake Central, eighth; and Hampshire, ninth.

No suburban teams made the cut for the division representing the smallest schools.

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