Buljan cheer team wins three competitions at JAMZ Nationals in Las Vegas
Leilani Kinzler and Anastasia E-Gonzalez believed their Buljan Middle School cheerleaders deserved to perform under lights, not a temporary tent. The 23-member team proved they were right.
Buljan won first place in three categories at the JAMZ Nationals on Feb. 18 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
The team of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders won in sideline performance cheer, show cheer and group stunt. Buljan was the only one of 74 elementary, middle school and high school teams to compete in three divisions, according to Kinzler.
But that was only part of the story. The other part was how Buljan ended up in Las Vegas.
Most middle schools compete in the USA Nationals at Disneyland, but that competition was moved outside the theme park under a large temporary tent, according to Kinzler.
“The team worked too hard to compete at a national level to perform under a large white temporary tent versus on stage under the lights and glamour at the Orleans Arena,” she said in an e-mail.
So Kinzler sought approval from Buljan Principal Greg Gunn and the Roseville Board of Trustees to compete in the JAMZ Nationals instead. The team qualified for the Las Vegas competition at an event in October. Buljan also competed in other events last fall and winter and earned 10 first-place awards and a fourth-place award, according to Kinzler.