Mount Sinai competes in the Co-Ed Division during the NYSPHSAA Cheerleading...

Mount Sinai competes in the Co-Ed Division during the NYSPHSAA Cheerleading Championship Tournament held at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, NY. Credit: John Berry/John Berry

“Turn the six upside down, it’s a nine now.”

Canadian rapper Drake might have said it first, but the Mt. Sinai cheerleading squad made the famous line make sense.

All season, the team was trying to mimic its 2016 season. Win regionals. Win nationals. Win counties. Win states.

They checked everything off.

The Mustangs brought home a first-place finish in the Large Varsity Division II at the NYS Cheerleading competition on March 2 at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

“Our goal was to have a similar season like 2016 and the fact that we accomplished that is truly amazing,” co-captain Isabella Takacs said. “This group of girls really connected, and I think that’s what pushed us into winning a state title. Even though there were bumps in the road, we never gave up.”

It wasn’t easy running down the list.

The Mustangs struggled early in the season. With an influx of new talent, a new coach and some injuries, the scoresheets weren’t leaning in Mt. Sinai’s favor. It was stuck in second place, then found itself in last place.

“We knew we had to push through the negativity and remain positive,” co-captain Vittoria Legaspi said. “We had a rough start with some ups and downs, but we came together, and it made us a stronger team.”

After falling to last place, the Mustangs went on a roller-coaster ride, winning a meet, then losing a meet then winning again right before the UCA Nationals competition.

Just as in 2016, they won first place at nationals, this time in Large Varsity Division II, their third win overall.

The Mustangs rode that wave to the state championship, adding another accomplishment to their belt.

The checklist of goals will remain the same next year. According to Takacs, as long as the Mustangs share the same drive as this year, completing the list will be easier.

“Now that the team is filled with national and state champions, they know what it will take next year,” Takacs said. “I hope the team is as strong and connected as the 2016 and 2019 teams were. I see this program continuing to grow.”

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