TORRANCE : High School Pep Squad Wins 1st-Place Trophy

Torrance High School's pep squad has captured the first-place trophy at the United Spirit Assn.'s National Championship in Anaheim.

The 38-member team won the coveted honor in the competition last weekend. All members of the pep squad--cheerleaders, song leaders, pep flag twirlers and mascots--participate in the event, which includes the school fight song and a complicated routine.

"Everybody came home a champion," said Rita Perez, the pep squad's adviser and coach. "We're so close. . . . I think that's why we did so well."

Sticking together is a practice that Perez cultivates. She said the squad goes to all Torrance High sporting events together.

"We are there to support each other all the time," Perez said.

In addition to the team's first-place trophy, the school brought home two other trophies: Senior Amy Stroock won third place in the individual crowd leader competition, and the seven-member varsity song group won second place in their event.

The team has competed for six years, but this is the first time they have won the championship.

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