By Josh Bronson

Pilot staff writer

In just their first year of participating in state competitions, the Brookings-Harbor High School cheerleading team took third place at the OSAA Cheerleading State Championships.

The Bruins finished the competition in third with 64.8 points while Sweet Home and Pleasant Hill - both perennial cheerleading powerhouses - tied for first place with 69.4 points.

andquot;The girls absolutely nailed their routine and they couldn't have done it any better,andquot; Coach Corinne Crochet said. andquot;We were a little disappointed with the placing, but the girls did awesome.andquot;

In qualifying competitions earlier this year, the Bruins had already beat Pleasant Hill on one occasion and came extremely close to toppling Sweet Home on another.

But this time around, the judges gave the edge to the two experienced programs while the newcomer Bruins stood alone in third place.

andquot;They gave a first place performance and brought home a third place trophy,andquot; assistant coach Robin LaThorpe said. andquot;Their timing was awesome and they pulled off everything.andquot;

In order to qualify for the state championships, the Bruin cheerleading squad had to complete two OSAA sanctioned events.

The Bruins burst onto the scene and surprised the competition, taking home first and second place trophies in their two qualifying performances.

andquot;They gave it their all and we couldn't be more proud of them,andquot; LaThorpe said. andquot;They did everything we ever asked of them.andquot;

Although a third place trophy is nothing to be ashamed of in their first year of competition, the Bruins are striving to be recognized as a top-tier program.

andquot;It just gives us something to work toward next year,andquot; LaThorpe said. andquot;We're out to prove that we're a first place squad.andquot;