TRURO - Sweet 16 indeed.
Krystal Reynolds won't forget her milestone birthday anytime soon, especially since the Truro teen got to celebrate it with a championship as her Truro All-Star Cheerleading Company Senior 2 squad won its division title Sunday at the Cheer Nova Scotia Provincial Championships at RECC.
"It feels amazing, Reynolds, a co-captain with the squad, said afterward. "We're from Truro and it was at home and my family was here and they don't normally get to come to competitions."
The victory was part of a larger celebration by the club at the two-day event, the first competition hosted in Truro in four years. As it has all season, TACC made its mark with three of its five squads claiming division titles.
Along with the Senior 2s, who won five of the six events they've entered this season, the Truro Tigers kept their perfect record on the provincial scene intact with their fourth title in the Small Youth Level 1 division. The Truro Leopards finished atop the Youth Level 2 category for their fourth win in five appearances.
"We worked really hard all year, so it feels really good to get first," Kyra Shearer, a 10-year-old member of the Tigers, said.
Truro's Senior 4.2 team, which had four wins in five events going into the weekend, finished in the runner-up spot in its division while the Truro Cheetahs came home fourth in the Large Youth Level 1 group. They posted five victories this season.
Truro club owner and head coach Mary Gonzales said she was thrilled with her team's performances at the event, which attracted about 2,000 people each day.
"I was really happy with our results," she said. "It was a good day."
The event had been one the Truro athletes had been looking forward to all season. Typically the club's teams must travel at least an hour to compete during the provincial competition season, which runs from January to May. With many of those events being two days, the trips also typically involve overnight stays, making it tough to continually have extended family members join the athlete to take in events.
"I think it was special for all of our teams to compete regardless of where they finished," Gonzales said. "Just to be able to compete at home in front of their families and friends, it was nice for them to have the opportunity to be here in front of their home crowd."
It was also part of what helped the Truro teams cap one of the best season's in the club's history.
"We got to have extra people in the stands and we were excited about that", Leopards captain Kloey Newby said.
Holly Gogan, a co-captain with Reynolds on the Senior 2 squad, agreed, adding the hometown crowd gave the team a bit of a boost.
"They were a lot louder than other competitions we go to and we really fed off that," she said.
The teams used that energy to lay down clean routines.
"That's all they needed to do," Gonzales said. "They had the difficulty and skill in their routine, they just had to execute and they did."
Gogan said the results are a sweet payoff for the effort the athletes, coaches and parents have put in this season. Truro teams had been working hard all year with the knowledge they would be hosting provincials at the end of the season.
"The whole year we worked for this weekend and now we've got it and it's amazing."
Gonzales said the event went off without a hitch and said she hopes it won't be another four years before the club hosts another event.
"There were a lot of unknowns going in because it had been four years, but things worked out really well.