D2 Summit & Disney 2018: Cheer Competition (2 of 3)

With 2 satisfying Disney days in the books, it was time to get down to cheer business. If you’re landing here for the 1st time, The Summit is the Super Bowl of cheer! It’s literally the world championships for Levels 1-4. (Levels 5 & 6 actually have Worlds.) Simply earning a bid to attend is a HUGE honor - many athletes cheer for years & *never* get this opportunity! It’s held at the Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Our gym had 4 teams eligible for D2 Summit bids, and by the end of the season, ALL 4 earned them!!! (1st time in our gym history!) Our Junior 1 had a Wild Card bid, meaning they competed Friday. (Unfortunately, they weren’t top 3 & didn’t advance, but Annelise & I were SO PROUD watching their routine on my phone while in line for Expedition Everest! Talk about a true Disney/cheer moment! :-D) Annelise’s Senior 2 team, Heat, earned our At-Large Summit bid at the earliest competition possible the beginning of November. Our Youth 2 earned theirs at NCA end of February, and Senior 3 earned theirs at the very last comp, the American Spectacular, in March. At-Large bids send you directly to Saturday’s semifinals, where two top Wild Cards join your competition.

[“You keep saying D2 Summit. What’s the difference b/t D1 & D2?” The D1 Summit was the weekend before. D1 gyms have multiple locations & over 125 athletes total. D2 gyms have less than 125 athletes total. D1 is bigger name gyms (Cheer Athletics, Woodlands Elite, Top Gun, Rockstar Cheer, etc.) but there are tons more D2 gyms than D1, so there’s actually more competition D2. Both have the same level requirements; it’s purely re: gym size. We were D1 last year & trimmed down to D2 this year; last year, we never went against more than 2 other teams except at NCA & won several times b/c no one was against us, while this year we averaged 8 competitors every comp.]

We were first up from our gym at 2:42 PM on Saturday - not too early, not too late = thankful! (These things go 7 AM to 10 PM - you never know when you’ll go until the week of for any comp. Check-in is 2-3 hours before performance time, so this was great.) Nervocited. (Nervous + excited = Annelise’s fave description of cheer anticipation. :-D) We just wanted them to do their best. That’s it. Nothing unrealistic, just honest. As long as they left it all on the mat, that would be winning...

I have never screamed so hard in all my life:

[Annelise is the flyer on the right in the elite stunts (the stunt sequence towards the beginning) and the flyer on the left in the baskets & pyramid towards the end.]


HEAT HIT ZERO!!!!! (Hitting zero means no deductions for falls or slips.) This was their BEST routine of the season!!!!!!! To conquer, you first have to to CLIMB! Now *THAT* is how you arrive at the Summit!!!!!

We were absolutely freaking out. Bawling happy! They went up against *43 TEAMS* in those semifinals on Saturday, and after that performance, we told them we didn’t care if they were 43rd (we *knew* they wouldn’t be absolutely last, but) b/c they TRULY did their best and rocked every ounce of that routine. To be able to say they hit zero at Summit?! INCREDIBLE!!!

The reveal of the top 12 of these 43 semifinal teams making it to the finals on Sunday was scheduled for 6:30 PM in the ESPN baseball stadium. We expected nothing. Truly. We were just so proud of them giving their all! We went in counting on nothing...


And ready to do it all again Sunday, after a decadent late dinner at the Willy Wonka-esque Toothsome Chocolate Emporium restaurant:

So Sunday: rewind Saturday & replay...almost. Heat had the *tiniest* error that no one but me (b/c my eyes are on Annelise’s stunt group like a hawk!) and the judges (b/c they’re pros) saw in the moment for a 0.75 deduction. One of her bases just couldn’t quite hang onto her leg coming down in a cradle. :’( It happens. They were bummed not to hit zero 2 days in a row; but to be honest, they powered through the rest of Sunday’s routine so beautifully! Most people (& literally most of the team) had no idea any small thing had even not hit:

And when the final scores came in, even without that tiny touch down, it wouldn’t really have changed their finishing position, so there’s no regret. There were other aspects that the judges scored better on Saturday, too. It’s truly a team sport - and I lovelovelove the way our girls comfort each other & build each other up:

My heart is still so full... Heat placed 13th overall out of the best *78 TEAMS* in the world!!! (Wild Card + At-Large) They hit their best routines of the season & finished strong. #perfectmothersday They proved that they not only earned this invite-only bid, but they really DESERVED IT!!! Thrilled! Prestigious!

Statistics: Summit usually pulls in the top 10% of teams in a division. Based on the 78 teams that competed in Annelise’s division, there were 780 (or so) eligible teams. Making it to the final day put her team in the top 2% of the world. They got 13th,, so 13th in the world out of 780!!!!!

Next up: party time!


  1. I know you are so proud of Annelise and all these girls!! They did themselves proud!! So much excitement here - congratulations to all of you!!!!

  2. Another Wow! Your daughter's team did great!

  3. Thank you BOTH sooo much!!! Y’all have seen how much went into this season! ❤️❤️❤️


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