The life of a: QU Cheerleader

Carole Ann Kinnaw

Double majoring, hours of homework, two jobs, back to back basketball games and National competitions are only some aspects of the life of Senior Kristin Mees. For the past three years Mees has been an active and dedicated member to the Quinnipiac University cheerleading squad, and this year she began a new role as one of the captains.

Mees is originally from Long Island but moved to Charleston, S.C. two years ago. She began taking gymnastics when she was five years old and quickly became a very skilled tumbler. Since gymnastics is such a large part of cheerleading, Mees decided to try out for the cheerleading squad in seventh grade. She has been cheering ever since.

She began cheering for Quinnipiac her freshman year and by the time she was a junior her coach asked her to be one of the captains along with Toni Corvi and another senior.

“We do a lot of the behind the scenes work as captains,” Mees said. “Along with keeping the team inspired, motivated and in shape.”

The cheerleading squad practices for three hours every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at the USA Wildcats Cheerleading gym. When competition season rolls around in early spring the team also adds a three hour practice on Mondays. Their practices consist of mastering their dance routines, stunts, cheers and tumbling.

The cheerleaders also do team workouts once a week to build up a fair measure of strength and energy. The cheerleaders cheer at every men’s and women’s basketball game for Quinnipiac University and usually cheer for games back to back on Saturdays.

“This year we also participated in an NCA camp and received a bid for nationals,” Mees said.

Nationals is a large cheerleading competition that is held in Daytona, Fla. that brings in teams from all over the country to compete with their routines. Quinnipiac’s cheerleading team comes well-prepared for these competitions, bringing in top choreographers to map out their routines.

“My favorite part about cheerleading is competing at Nationals,” Mees said. “Our team has placed in the top 10 the past three years. It is such a rush competing against such large well known schools coming from a small private school in Connecticut.”

In March the QU Cheerleading squad will also be holding their 4th annual cheerleading competition here at Quinnipiac.

Aside from being a dedicated cheerleader and captain, Mees is also double majoring in psychology and independent art. In addition she is a nanny for a Cheshire family and works five days a week. She also works at a nursery in New Haven on Sundays. Mees plans on attending graduate school to get her Masters in elementary education.

Cheerleading, however, remains a large part of Mees’ life.

Mees said that the friendships made through cheerleading are strong and everlasting. Many of the girls, she said, end up living together as upperclassmen.

Mees’ world is extremely busy and although she is constantly occupied with jobs, classes, school work and cheerleading, she doesn’t regret the decisions she has made. For her, these experiences have helped to shape who she is as an individual.