By Karen Huwe
The Times 

Local 2nd grader competes in cheer


December 15, 2022

Courtesy photo

Elise jumps high during competition in Portland

WAITSBURG-Waitsburg Elementary second-grader Elise Pearson is enjoying her first-year as a member of the Firehouse Elite Cheerleading team based in Richland. The eight-year-old competes at the youth level with her team, Blackout. Blackout recently won first place in its first meet of the season, a two-day event in Portland, Oregon, on December 3 and 4. The Firehouse Elite teams also won four Judges' Choice Awards; best pyramid, best stunts, best tumbling, and best dance.

Pearson started cheerleading in July and practices are held three times a week at the Firehouse Elite Gym in Richland. Members range from the age of three to eighteen and compete in six age groups.

The Firehouse teams have six competitions coming up between January and March. They will travel to Portland twice, Kennewick, Bellevue, Tacoma and a "flyaway" competition in Atlanta, Georgia. Pearson's team goal is to earn a bid to the Regional Summit in Anaheim, CA.

Pearson is the daughter of Sarah and Tiernam and the granddaughter of Neil and Linda Henze. Pearson's favorite stunt is the single base pyramid, and she is still working on a move called "back needle." Winning first place at her first cheer competition rates as her favorite memory so far in her first cheerleading season.


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