First Poms competition of the season brings second place win
The end of December brings the start of another competition season for Poolesville High School’s award winning pom squad. Coached by Poolesville alum Tanya Ventura, the team is led by captains and co-captains Amy Zhu, Izzi Gibbs, Tiara Ventura, Camille Awono, and Chloe Insalaco.
Since 2016, they have competed in Division 1 – the highest level of competition for poms teams around the county – after winning three consecutive Division 2 titles from 2013-2015. This year marks their third season in Division 1, and they are looking to capture the county title after just missing third place for the last two years. Poms competitions are always popular events for Poolesville students, and the team never fails to bring excitement to Poolesville. With their high energy routines and stellar choreography, the squad has consistently placed in the top three in their competitions over the past two years. This year is no different. After earning second place at their first competition at Blake High School, the team “has set high expectations for the remaining three competitions,” according to coach Tanya Ventura. At the Blake Invitational, the team had a successful day, first with their team placement and also because competing captain Chloe Insalaco received second place. In every competition, one of the captains is tasked with dancing a brief solo in front of the judges, and they are judged against the other captains from the other schools competing. At the Northwest Pom Invitational, the team proved successful again, earning 2nd place overall as well as 2nd place Captains award for competing captain Tiara Ventura.
They will be competing in 2 more invitationals that lead up to the final county competition, in which they will perform against all Division 1 teams in Montgomery County. They are joined in Division 1 by reigning champions Sherwood, Poolesville rivals Damascus, Quince Orchard, Rockville, Walter Johnson, and Magruder High School.
The poms season is a long one, much longer than every other sport, as it goes from the beginning of the school year to the end of February (Fall-Winter). During the fall season, much time isn’t spent on the competition routine, but rather the football routines where they perform at halftime. The team spends their time stretching, conditioning, and focusing on their technique so that they are sharp when it’s time for competition season. Once January rolls around, the team ups their intensity and begins to practice Monday-Saturday every single week. Co-captain Amy Zhu says that it’s important for the team to “stay focused and work hard in practice” so that they are prepared for their competitions. This year, the competition routine will surely be one to watch. Ventura says “the choreography is uniquely different and the music selection will make you want to jump out of your seat and join the girls on the dance floor.” Both Zhu and Ventura are confident in the team’s ability and are hopeful to bring home Poolesville first Division 1 trophy.
Come out and support your Poolesville Poms at their county competition at 4:30 on Saturday, February 3rd and Montgomery Blair High School!