SJC senior discusses cheerleading journey

St. John’s has many highly successful sports teams with athletes being recruited to compete in college. But what about sports that St. John’s doesn’t have?

SJC senior Cristina Vannoy is a competitive cheerleader planning on cheering in college. She has managed to get recruited by universities despite St. John’s lack of a cheer team.

Vannoy began cheerleading at age 13 after a history of gymnastics and dancing. Her gymnastics instructor at Dynamite Gymnastics Center decided that she was going to start an all-star cheerleading team and Cristina decided to try it out. She said, “I absolutely fell in love with the sport, the commitment it required, and the idea that it involved team work with a group of friends that after spending so much time together, become like family.”

Two years later, she switched to the Allstar Cheerleading Gyms which has much larger facilities and more coaches. This was a great choice and opened up many more opportunities in her sport. With her team, the Maryland Twisters, Vannoy has become a level 5 athlete and her team even qualified for the world championships.

She cannot disclose specific information about commitments and scholarships because of university policies, but Vannoy says that she definitely plans on continuing with cheerleading in college. She credits her current team, the Twisters, for this success.

Vannoy says that she tried to start a cheerleading team at SJC her freshman year. She even had a coach offer to help; however, St. John’s wasn’t interested in bringing back cheerleading.

Vannoy said, “With our outstanding sports teams, I feel as though it would be a great way to express school spirit and get other students involved in the community. I think that with a cheer team, students who are involved in gymnastics or all-star cheerleading outside of school would have a better chance at including themselves at St. John’s.”

To get this far in her sport has not been easy. The teamhas gyms located in Hanover, MD and Sterling, VA. Vannoy says it regularly takes her 2.5 hours to get to practice. But that hasn’t discouraged Vannoy. “The experience I get while there is completely worth all the driving, time in the car and late night study sessions to keep up with my studies at SJC,” she said.

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