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Runge helps team prepare for nationals

February 25, 2011

Whether it’s yelling for the home team, tossing girls in the air, or flipping backwards until she’s dizzy, there’s only one sport that can mix all these things in one and senior, Kate Runge knows just the trick to perfecting these skills.

This isn’t just an average activity for Runge. She has been cheering for 9 years.

“I first started cheering in 8th grade. I was super shy, but I knew I wanted to be a part of something. After that year I figured out how much I really loved stunting, tumbling, and cheering in general,” said Runge. “It constantly pushes me to do things I never thought I could. The personal connections I’ve made along the way have also had a huge impact on me. I’ve met all my closest friends cheering, and my squad is always like my second family.”

Her favorite part of cheerleading is the most difficult: stunting.

“I love stunting because you get to do things no one else can do, you defy gravity and everything has to be perfect,” said Runge.

Even though stunting is her favorite part of the sport, she also dislikes aspects of cheerleading.

“My least favorite thing about cheerleading is when he crowd doesn’t cheer with us and that’s our job,” said Runge.

For training, Runge has to tackle more than just practice.

“We work out twice a week along with having practice twice a week. Weightlifting is a big part because it helps to keep us tone and strong. This is especially important for a base,” said Runge.

For the off season, Runge runs to stay in shape and also has to attend cheerleading camps.

“Stunting and tumbling are difficult to practice in the offseason,” said Runge.

Motivation is key to anything athletic. In order to perform well, one has to be pumped up and ready to take on that game or race.

“Doing normal warm-ups motivate me for games. Also getting a stunt that wasn’t being hit in practice gets me pumped up,” said Runge.

Her 9-year career must come to an end though. Runge cheered her last game on Saturday, February 19th. She has no plans to continue cheerleading after college.

“I will not be cheering after college. I wish they had an old lady cheer squad but they don’t,” said Runge. “It’s bittersweet knowing this is my last year of cheerleading. I love cheerleading and the girls on the squad, however, my body isn’t as young as it used to be and old injuries are catching up.”

Runge also describes her fears as a cheerleading and how much of a team effort is needed to be a successful cheerleader and squad.

“My biggest fear when cheerleading is dropping people. It happens but some people don’t realize that the fliers are risking their lives. Everyone has to be focused and serious,” said Runge.

Her cheerleading career will be extended this year due to the NCAA National Cheerleading Competition in Daytona Beach, in which the Monmouth College cheerleaders received a bid at camp this summer. She hopes for success from the squad.

“As for nationals, I hope we do our best as a squad and have a good performance and I will be happy. This is our first year competing and it’s just a stepping stone,” said Runge.

BY KELSEY BESHEARS
Sports Editor

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