The John A. Carusi Middle School cheer team won its first national competition, the Spirit Extreme Nationals, on April 2.
Under the direction of coaches Larissa Kohler and Shyla Rutkowski, the team competed in three competitions this season. The first two were Frost Extreme, in Wilmington, Delaware, and the other the Garden State Championship in Lincroft.
Team members took first place in both competitions. In the Frost Extreme contest, the girls won a paid bid to the third competition, the Spirit Extreme Nationals in Wilmington, where 38 teams competed. There were two teams in the division in addition to Carusi.
During the season – November through April – team members worked on a routine choreographed by Aimee Fountas. They had an extended winter season and put in hours of work during after-school and Saturday practices, as well as attending practices at TNT Gymnastics and Cheer.
Carusi’s own competition this season included other middle schools in the area and TNT’s All-Star teams. That enabled the team members to raise money for each contest they attended, including transportation.
Their winning routine may be viewed on the Cherry Hill school YouTube channel.