New Canaan's cheerleaders presented their last competitive program of the year at the Class L CIAC competition on Saturday at the New Haven City-Wide Athletic Center. Led by senior captains Elizabeth Checketts and Melanie Ng, the team of 15 girls presented a very polished program of high energy, powerful tumbling, well-choreographed dance and challenging stunting. In a field of 18 teams, New Canaan finished strong in fifth place with a score of 138. Finishing ahead of New Canaan were North Haven (158.5), Masuk (155.5), Berlin (152), and Bunnel (147). Other FCIAC participants in this division included Fairfield Warde in sixth place (137.5), Wilton in eleventh place (110), and Darien in eighteenth place (85). The top three finishers will go on to participate in regional competition.

Both Ng and Checketts have been captains for 3 consecutive seasons. Said Checketts, "We were really excited about this event because we knew it might be our last chance to compete this season. We gave it everything we had, and although we didn't place in the top three, we did our best and can come away really happy with our performance."

Ng commented on the huge emotion of the day saying, "Saturday was the happiest and saddest day of my life. It was a hugely passionate experience. I just poured myself into it, knowing that I might never compete with these girls again. These girls are like my sisters. I have competed with girls I love and cheering has been such a rewarding experience."

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Senior Tiffany Blue is a first year cheerleader. "Being on the cheer team was a very interesting experience for me. It was really like a cheer family," Blue said. "I'm sad it's my last year, but I'll come back and see the girls next year."

The team has worked diligently and cohesively since August 2010 to build their skills.

Their hard work paid off in the form of several high place finishes this year in both team and individual categories. "I credit our success to the strong coaching provided by Margaret DiMauro and Aimee Piccin over the last 2 years. I'm so glad they have been there for us," Checketts said.

Tryouts for the fall season will be held in late May or early June at New Canaan High School. Interested candidates can contact the NCHS athletic office for details.