High Spirit at the Civic Center

By Alyssa Donovan

January 19, 2013 Updated Jan 21, 2013 at 11:11 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill.-- Almost one thousand cheerleaders took over the Peoria Civic Center on Saturday at the 12th annual IESA Cheerleading Championship.

The event gives teams a chance to compete for a title.
Fourteen-year-old Sidney Snider has been cheering for four years.

Snider says this is the day she and her team have been working toward for months.

Snider said, "We practice every day of the week except Sundays so we've worked really hard for this."

More than 70 teams participated, competing with both cheer and dance routines.

"The best thing is there is no State series to get here," said John Venerable of IESA. "Anybody can sign up for one of our five divisions and come here and participate."

Venerable says the day-long event got area businesses feeling competitive too.

The thousands of cheerleaders and their biggest fans traveled from all across the state and booked up hotels around downtown Peoria. And that's business that may come back.

Venerable said, "If you win your division you get to perform at the IHSA finals here in a couple weeks."

Snider's team has placed either first or second in all of their competitions leading up to this. They have their sights set high again.

"We've worked really hard for this and we're excited. We really want to place in the top 5," said Snider.

After the teams perform, it's all up to the judges, but with spirits high both on and off the floor, it's hard to find a reason not to cheer.

For competition results, head to http://www.iesa.org/activities/CHR/fanzone or click on the link above.

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