Biddeford High School made it two straight Class A cheerleading state championships with a scintillating performance at the Augusta Civic Center on Saturday night.
The Tigers racked up 92.6 points to easily outdistance runner-up Lewiston, which scored 86.7 points. Bangor made a few mistakes and took third place with 83.7 points, followed by Oxford Hills of South Paris (79.3), Sanford (77.3) and Thornton Academy of Saco (77.2).
The rest of the competitors included Scarborough (75.1), Marshwood of South Berwick (73.3), Hampden Academy (70.9), Noble of North Berwick (69.7), Gorham (68.2), Mt. Ararat of Topsham (63.9) and Brunswick (50.5).
Biddeford coach Deb Lebel said her team turned in its best performance of the season and maybe the best ever among the teams she has coached.
“It was amazing. It was a tough routine,” Lebel said. “I’m really proud of them.”
Lebel said she was sad to see Bangor, the 2018 state champ, bungle a pair of stunts.
“I know they’re really good and I wanted to see us go head-to-head,” Lebel said.
Biddeford senior Alli Souliere said the team has improved dramatically over the course of the season.
“We’ve come so far from not doing well in the beginning. We’ve worked so hard. We’ve had early morning and late night [practices]. Having to have a second practice in the day because we didn’t do better in the [earlier] practice,” Souliere said. “We love each other so much.”
Souliere said they had a vibe before their routine that they were going to turn in a gem.
“We were confident,” Souliere said.
Biddeford’s routine was high-energy and flawless.
Bangor co-coach Kate Robichaud said it was one of those days where things didn’t turn out the way they had hoped.
“We didn’t hit the routine, We had two falls in the routine. If you fall, you can’t make up those points,” Robichaud said.
“Sometimes you can show up and hit a flawless routine and sometimes it doesn’t go your way and today it didn’t go our way,” she said.
Bangor had registered 92.4 points in winning the North regional.
“If we had hit our routine, it would have been a close score,” she added.
The members of Biddeford’s state championship team are Mariah Bayley, Alexis Berry, Savannah Berry, Brooklyn Goff, Hilary Gonzalez, Delaney Hatch, Selana Huot, Claudie Janelle, Brianna Keely, Kayleigh Keely, Julia Ketcham, Anna Lavigne, Mackenzie LeBlanc, Mersadies Martinez, Virneka McDaniel, Kairlye McQuen, Shalyn Menard, Souliere, Isabella Thibeault, Mercedes Thomas and Katelyn Weeks.