FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. Xtreme Cheer's Blaze team won first place to highlight a strong performance by the Norwalk-based squad at the U.S. Spirit National Cheerleading competition last weekend in Orlando, Fla.
Inferno, a first-year international squad, earned honorable mention honors and received an invitation to compete at the Worlds Competition in April, also in Orlando. Two other teams took second place at the national competition.
Blaze, a co-ed team of 18-and-under performers, won its division. Members of Blaze include Norwalk's Michaela Santalucia, Nicole Bredan and K.K. Benaducci, Greenwich's Cameron Monette, Alexis Zeballos, Camille Monette, Lara Gabriel and Dominique Conetta, Westport's Maddy Mann, Jacqueline Fritz and Kanah Higuchi, Wilton's Catrina Dolan, Stamford's Janna Fuechsel Winfrey and Hannah Gilpatrick, New Canaan's Erin Queally and Fairfield's Nicole Wamser. Other members include Joe Brown, Victoria Leon, Courtney Kischowski, Elle Chukwu, Kaly Goane, Victoria Russo and Sarah Gall. Blaze also won a national competition earlier this year in Massachusetts.
The competition featured 95 teams from 17 states. Teams performed their routines twice, and the combined scores determined placement.
Inferno is a level 5 team the highest level of maneuvers in the sport and consists of male and female athletes from Connecticut and Westchester County.
Inferno will need to raise money to travel back to Orlando for the April competition. People interested in supporting the team can contact coach Mike Talbot at 203-273-9161 or Laurie Sirios at 203-856-4327. More information also is available on the Xtreme website .
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