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At-a-glance

- Logan Yartz
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Yartz competes on a national and internationally ranked cheerleading squad, rated first in the United States and third in the world. “Being a champion is amazing, but most people don’t know about it,” says Yartz.
The championship status that Yartz achieved is due to her dedication to her practices four times a week. “The drive to Baltimore takes about three to three and a half hours depending on the traffic, and then practice is supposed to be three hours, but runs longer around big competitions,” she says. Yartz practices in Maryland for three teams: the Maryland Twisters, Superstars and F5.
Traveling is not the only expense that Yartz goes through for cheering. The sport and uniforms cost a large amount of money. “Each month the cost is about $260 for the gym and that includes her team cheerleading fee. They also have Olympic trainers to pay. The uniforms costs $300 each and she has two for each team,” says mother Suzanne Yartz.
The cheerleaders on the squad also have to be tan for competitions. “If other girls get a spray tan, and they are not dark enough, then my coach will tell them that they need to go again,” says Logan.

RISKY BUSINESS
Logan knows about the dangers of competitive cheering. During the autumn of 2010, she fell out of a stunt and broke her ankle in three places and could not cheer until January 2011. “Being injured was really difficult. When I made the team, it meant a lot to me. It was my dream team,” Logan says.
Other cheerleaders understand the safety risks as well. “Putting people over your head and having other girls below you isn’t normal or safe,” says competitive cheerleader Tyra Heeter (9). Varsity cheerleader Carly Smakulski (9) agrees with Heeter. “Stunting is really dangerous. If you don’t get it right, you can get hurt. A girl could get dropped on you, and you could get kicked or hit.”

IN THE END
Being in an elite cheering program also takes away from time with friends. “On the weekends, I’m either at practice or competitions. Sometimes, they throw either a Friday or a Saturday practice in, and I can’t spend time with my friends,” says Logan.
Even with all of the challenges, being able to reach a score of 97.3 is worth all of the effort. The score is based on a stunting score out of ten, plus execution and appearance scores that add up to a final total of 100 possible points. “Points are taken off if a stunt is dropped or if you bobble or drop your leg while you’re in a stunt. If you have bracelets or jewelry on, that gets you points,” Logan says. If the competition lasts two days, then the scores of both days are added together.
After the competitions are over, the cheerleaders have time to celebrate with fans. “People come up and ask to take pictures with me, and at the international competition, people ask for autographs. It’s almost like being a celebrity,” says Logan.

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The Red & White Bloomsburg High School Bloomsburg, PA
Issue Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011 Issue: Swimming States Last Update: Saturday, March 12, 2011
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