Impact Elite Athletic earns their way to Summit

Skylar Longsine, Reporter


A national Allstar-Cheerleading competition took place in Orlando Florida at the Disney ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on May 14-15. Only the best of the best teams of their level and division came to this event, for it is a bid only event. Some might wonder what is a level and division or what is a bid? Within every level which goes from one to six there is a youth, junior and senior. Only junior and senior teams are able to go to the Summit. 

Teams first competed on May 14. After all of the teams from their level/division compete, they get their placement and only a certain number of teams are able to move onto finals, which was on May 15. All teams competed with the same routine both days. Teams that moved forward to the final day have empty score sheets. 

As for Impact Elite Athletics, they had all of the three teams they had brought to the Summit compete both days. Junior two placed in a tie for fifth, senior three placed fifth, and the team that I am a part of, senior one placed fourth. 

Elements of their routine that earned them these placements are while stunting switching  from skill to skill (Ex. lib to heel-stretch, or heelstetch to arabesque.) Also, having connected tumbling passes such as round-off double back handspring, and having an opening, standing tumbling pass, earned the team high scores. Elite stunts, jumps, running tumbling, pyramid stunts, and an eight-count dance, are all required elements.

Teams like Impact Elites compete at competitions all over the United States to try to win an invitation, otherwise known as a bid, to be eligible to compete at the Summit.

“We first earned an at-large bid meaning we gained entrance into the semi final round at Summit, but later in the season earned the opportunity to upgrade to a paid bid meaning that our competition fee and two -day Disney passes were completely paid for,” junior Alison Dahse from Impact Elite said. “We earned this bid by getting the highest score out of every single team that competed at a competition.”

There are two different Summit competitions in the cheerleading world. There is a Summit and a D2 Summit. The Summit is for larger gyms and the other is for smaller scale gyms. 

“The D2 Summit is for gyms with 125 or fewer athletes in their program. It is designed this way because these gyms don’t have access to as many resources, athletes or help as some/most larger gyms do,” Dahse said.

For the teams that earn top three, they are gifted with prizes to remember their success. 

“There are the superficial things such as individual banners saying Summit champion, Summit rings and medals,” Dahse said.

For Dahse and others the physical prizes were not the most rewarding part of this event. The girls and boys get to show off all of their hard work and dedication, resulting in a feeling of accomplishment. 

“Teams earn the mental reward of knowing that hard work pays off. A cheerleading team is not just a team but a family, and so much more. Cheer is mostly mental so to win means everything was worth it,” Dahse said.

Junior Jayden Behnke from Impact Elite has similar views on the importance to the kids that participate in the Summit. She explains that not just any team can participate in the Summit.

“Only the best teams in the country are able to go, so just getting the opportunity is amazing,” Behnke said.

Not only was going to the Summit an accomplishment to Behnke, but earning a paid bid was. For there are a very limited number of teams that receive a paid bid and those teams are not usually a senior level one team.

“It made me really happy that our hard work paid off. Not many teams received a paid bid,” Behnke said.

Earning their way to the top did not come easy for this senior level one team. They had to work through lots of mental barriers.

“When someone’s vibe is off it can throw off the whole team. It’s hard to work past it because of the emotions,” senior Elizabeth Jensen from Impact Elite said.

This is Jensen’s last year as an Impact Elite Athletics cheerleader. Making it to the Summit this year was the best way to end her Allstar-Cheerleading career.

“Personally, as a senior this year, it was a great way to end my season. With COVID a lot was taken from athletes especially for cheerleaders. Going to Florida was the best send off a senior could have,” Jensen said.