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Red Raider girls impress

Kauai High School’s cheerleading squad participated at this year’s Universal Cheer Association camp on Oahu earlier this month.

“Universal Cheer Association, they put a camp all throughout the United States. They work with both high schools and colleges,” said Kauai High cheerleading coach Carrie Young. “It gives cheer teams on the high school level (an opportunity) to improve on skills and techniques in cheer, dance and stunting.”

While at the three-day camp at Iolani School, the Red Raider girls took home some hardware.

Kauai High, along with Oahu’s Iolani, Kamehameha Schools–Kapalama, Kailua, Mililani, Punahou and Waipahu, competed in the Camp Xtreme Routine Competition. The Red Raiders were named champs.

“We were definitely shocked. We just tried to do our best and take whatever comes at us, and we won,” said Red Raiders senior cheerleader Kaena Kaohelaulii. “To bring something like that home to Kauai is exciting. Kauai isn’t known for their cheer program that much.”

“It’s a big accomplishment for us. This year, we’re just planning to give our best shot into everything we do,” The Kauai High senior added.

Young, too, said coming in first place was quite a shock because one school in particular always did well every year — KS–Kapalama.

“They’ve won that consistently every year for as long as I’ve gone, and I’ve been dong this for 12 years,” Young said. “That was a surprise. When they announced that we had won, it didn’t sink in. The girls were just looking around.”

The coach added her team also won the Leadership Award, which is voted upon by the student cheerleaders who attended.

Also, four Red Raiders were named UCA All-Stars: Kaohelaulii, senior Michaela Licke and sophomores Drewan Pigao and Torrie Hasegawa.

“It’s a competition for the high schoolers to show their individual skills,” Kaohelaulii said about being chosen as an all-star.

She added those named will have the chance to perform at a UCA event in London. Though she doesn’t know at the moment if she will make the trip to England, she’s hopeful.

“I’m trying to. I’m trying to save up,” Kaohelaulii said, who was also named the camp’s “Best Jumper.”

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