Cheering life leads to championship for Barcomb

GUILDERLAND — Guilderland’s Megan Barcomb had one of the greatest days of her life on April 6.

Barcomb and her cheerleading team from Elmira College won the Division II championship at the National Cheerleading Association Championships in Daytona Beach, Fla.
"It was good competition," Barcomb said. "There were 17 teams in our division. We finished third highest in all the all-girls division. It was Maryland, Louisville, and us."

The Elmira teams finished with 8.73 points to win the Division II title.
"We’re a Division III school," Barcomb said. "But we’re the only one that finishes in the top 10 every year. So we competed in Division II."

Elmira scored an 8.50 in the preliminary round of the competition and easily advanced to the final. Elmira had the second highest score behind the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, which scored an 8.63.
"The top half of the teams go on to compete in the finals," Barcomb said. "And, because of our ranking in the preliminaries, we went second to last in the competition. We saw every other team, but we had to wait for one more team. It was the longest 15 minutes of my life."

UMass-Dartmouth scored an 8.54 in the finals to fall short of Elmira’s 8.73.

Life of cheer

Barcomb has been cheering since she was 6 years old. She cheered for the Guilderland Pop Warner.

Barcomb later cheered for Guilderland High School under Coach Patty Palmer. Barcomb was part of the first team that went to Florida to compete at the national meet at Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports.
"The first time we went down there, I was a junior," Barcomb said. "We had a lot of success there and we are very successful here."

Palmer was at the collegiate national championships with the University at Albany team she coaches. Albany advanced to the finals of the all-girl intermediate competition and finished sixth overall.
"Patty has been coaching me since I was 6 up through high school," Barcomb said. "She was at nationals with UAlbany. It was nice to have her there when I won."

Elmira has a big squad, which had been split into two teams.
"For the past two years, since I was a freshman, we’ve had two teams," Barcomb said. "We consolidated it into one. We took the best of both teams for the all-girl team we took down there [to the nationals."

The team was honored when it got back to school. The cheerleaders were named the Elmira College Athletes of the Week by the school.

Barcomb, a junior, is also a busy student. She has three majors — in childhood education with an emphasis on middle school; in psychology; and in social studies. She would like to teach elementary or middle school but also plans on getting a master’s degree in special education.

Cheerleading is also a big part of her life.
"Cheering is a way of life," Barcomb said. "All the work has paid off."

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