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Xtreme Cheerleaders Shout Down Mass. Rivals

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk-based Xtreme Cheer unveiled a first-year team at the Northeast Knockout competition last weekend in Worcester, Mass. And just like many of its other strong programs, the Inferno put on a dazzling performance en route to winning the championship in its debut.

The coed team has cheerleaders ages 14 to 27 and competes in the International Level 5. The Xtreme Shine, an 18-and-under Level 2 girls team, also finished first. The Xtreme Blaze, a co-ed Level 3 team, finished second by less than a point. The Shimmer, a girls 14-and-under Level 3 team, took third. The level indicates the degree of difficulty in the routines. The higher the number, the more difficult the maneuvers in the routine.

“We’re proud of these accomplishments,’’ said Dana Talbot, who coaches Xtreme with her husband, Mike. “We didn’t have any expectations about the Inferno, and they performed great. We couldn’t have asked for a better start.”

It is difficult for the Inferno to create stunning routines because of the age difference of the performers. “It really is a crazy dynamic,’’ Talbot said. “You have a wide range of ages and abilities. It sure worked on the floor.”

The Inferno consists of Sophia Buitrago and Michaela Santalucia of Norwalk; Greenwich’s Camille Monette; Stamford’s Hannah Gilpatrick and Jay Ruffin; Fairfield’s Avery Watson; Wilton’s Amanda Sirois; and Maddy Mann and Kanah Higuchi of Westport. Other cheerleders include Breanna Kunze, Anthony Munoz, Tevin Clarke, Dilmer Bonefacio, Ryan Brown, Jessie Baum, Jonathan Ruffin, Angel Neris, Christine Albert, Joe Brown, Joe Areaga, Lorianne Thompson and Alexis Zeballos.

The Shine also performed well, coming from behind after finishing as the second seed after the first day of competition. “We weren’t going in there expecting to win, but they pulled it out,’’ Talbot said.

The Shine includes Norwalk’s Amanda Miller, Chelsey Martylewski, Kristen Barrese and Savannah Buzzeo; Stamford’s Stephanie Constante, Carissa Larriuz, Tiana Furnaros, Morgan Personette and Mackenzie Personette; Greenwich’s Nina Jardao and Jalynn Marrero; Westport’s Taylor Cusa and Samantha Schieffelin; Wilton’s Jessica Favarolo and Megan Meyer; New Canaan’s Rachel Annulli, Kaitlyn Piotroski and Carson Allsteadt; Darien’s Lauren Peluso and Michelle Baird; and Jordan Shakof of White Plains. Other members include Emilie Knight, Lisa Balls, Brianne Aichinger, Amy Craw and Brianna Malfetano.

The Blaze, who won at the U.S. finals last year appear destined for big things again. The team includes Greenwich’s Cameron and Camille Monette, Lara Gabriel, Alexis Zeballos and Dominique Conetta; Westport’s Maddy Mann and Jacqueline Fritzi; Norwalk’s Nicole Bredan and K.K. Benaducci; Wilton’s Catrina Dolan; Stamford’s Hannah Gilpatrick; Fairfield’s Nicole Wamser; and Victoria Russo of Somers. Other members are Tevin Clarke, Victoria Leon, Kaley Goane, Joe Areaga and Sarah Gall.

The Shimmer, which won a national championship last March, includes Norwalk’s Chelsey Martylewski, Alexa Cassara, Deanna Magee, Sophia Buitrago and K.K. Benaducci; Westport’s Samantha Schieffelin and Samantha Troy; Stamford’s Lana Foglio and Morgan Personette; Greenwich’s Cameron Monette; New Canaan’s Carson Allstedt; Fairfield’s Nicole Wamser; Wilton’s Jessie Favarolo; and Darien’s Lauren Peluso. Other members are Kelly Ceccarelli, Lisa Balls, Elle Chukwu, Katie McKinnon and Shylin Santana.

The cheerleaders will compete in the Athletic Platinum Championships on Jan. 28-29 in Providence, R.I.

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