Seniors selected for All-American team
Cheerleaders to represent United States in London performance
September 29, 2017
Seniors and varsity cheer captains Mallory McCormick and Ashley Wiederspahn were selected for the All-American cheerleading team July 13.
McCormick and Wiederspahn were selected out of several hundred other cheerleaders in their summer cheer camp. They will represent the United States in a parade in London, England on New Year’s Eve.
“[There were] 20 minutes separated at camp [away from the daily routine] for everyone that wanted to try out [for the All-American Cheerleading team],” Wiederspahn said. “You did one cheer and showed your best jumps.”
Accepting a spot on the All-American cheerleading team is a commitment that can further impact the athletes’ futures.
“Because I’m a senior and a captain this year on Oak Park Cheer, I’m going to pursue to cheer in college,” McCormick said. “This is a good plot of my life, it’s fun. [Cheer is] how I express myself and it’s what I love to do and I’m comfortable doing it and so cheer gives me more confidence in my everyday life.”
The All-American team picked their athletes at various United Cheerleaders Association, United Dancers Association and United Spirit Association camps across the nation.
“If you attend a USA, UCA or a UDA camp, then you can try out for the team and if you make it then you can be on the team,” Wiederspahn said.
The girls said that they did not expect to be chosen out of so many athletes.
“I started crying because I was so overwhelmed because I didn’t think that of all people I would be chosen,” McCormick said. “It took me by surprise and I’m glad that I was chosen with one of my best friends. That really was amazing.”
When McCormick and Wiedersphan arrive in London they will have time for leisure and tourism, but will need to learn the routine that they will be performing many times throughout the parade.
“When we get to London, we learn what we’re going to be performing. And then, we’re there for about a week and so, everyday we go sight seeing and stuff.” McCormick said. “And then, the night before the parade we rehearse a lot and then the next day we perform up to ten times walking through the whole parade.”
While in London, England, Wiederspahn and McCormick will meet other athletes.
“Well, I love to travel, and I love meeting new people, so this is a good way for me to go and meet new people closer to mine and [Wiedersphan’s] age,” McCormick said. “We can stay connected and just talk to them and we might end up going to the same college as them if they want to do cheer and stuff.”
Both athletes have committed to spending Dec. 26, 2017 through Jan. 2, 2018 in London, experiencing a new culture and representing their country.
“I’ve never been outside of the country before so it will be an eye-opener to different cultures and it’ll also just be another memory of cheer that’s always going to live on,” Wiederspahn said.
Wiederspahn and McCormick both said they have passion for their sport.
“[Cheer is] my life. It’s my love. It’s literally my passion. I think about it all the time,” Wiedersphan said. “I think I would just be lost without it.”