Shoemaker said her hopes began to rise as soon as the team nailed their competition routine.
“I knew it was possible, but (Burlington Township) hit their routine too,” Shoemaker said.
Shoemaker said she couldn’t describe what went through her mind when her team was announced as the first-place winners, but there’s no doubt pure emotion reigned at that point.
“We just couldn’t believe it,” Shoemaker said. “It’s one of those things we hope will happen but you don’t know if it ever will.”
Shoemaker said the girls work hard throughout the year to get their routines up to par on the national level, and she said practices that take place several days a week increase to every day from December through February in preparation for the event that sees hundreds and hundreds of teams descend on Orlando, Florida.
Shoemaker, who teaches 5th grade at Oak Hill Elementary School and who operates Pep and Pizzazz Studio in town, said her girls will get a short break — with a trip to the state competition in between thanks to a rescheduled event because of an ice storm — to help them wind down.
And then they’ll be back at it again, with try-outs in April.
“I can’t put it into words,” said Keirstyn Correll’s mother, Debbie Todd, about how proud she was of her daughter and her teammates.
“They’re worked so hard and gone through so much,” Todd said. “(Keirstyn) has learned to work really hard with this group of girls ... it’s a friendship that they’re always going to have, and they’ll be able to lean on each other.”
The 2013 UCA National High School Championship is tentatively scheduled to air between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on March 24 on ESPNU and between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on March 30 on ESPN2. The event will also air April 4, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., on ESPN2. Those dates are subject to change.