Suburban cheer teams take home top prizes
Conant, Buffalo Grove, Neuqua among winners
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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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