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SMC squad cheers runners at Marathon

Maggie Dunn | Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sunday morning, seven members of the Saint Mary’s cheerleading squad braved the cold to cheer for a much bigger team than they’re used to – a team of 40,000, in fact.

The women attended the Chicago Marathon as members of the event’s official cheerleading squad, which encouraged participants on their 26.2-mile run.

According to SMC cheerleader junior Rocky Krivda, SMC was selected to participate along with 24 other schools and All-American/All-Star cheerleading squads by the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon board members. The application included an essay about why their particular team should be chosen and what spirit means to them.

Krivda said she applied on the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon Web site in June, and the SMC cheerleaders received confirmation in early August. They were the first of the 25 squads to be selected.

Fellow SMC cheerleader, junior Bridget Spore, said it is thanks to Krivda that they had the opportunity to step off campus and be involved in the community.

“The Saint Mary’s cheerleading squad tries to cheer at least once for every Saint Mary’s College sports team,” Krivda said. “We decided we wanted to support the Saint Mary’s students who ran in the Chicago Marathon, so I wrote the essays and applied for the team.”

The 25 teams that made up the marathon’s Spirit Squad placed themselves at different mile markers throughout the course to energize and motivate not only the runners, but the estimated 1.5 million spectators as well. Because SMC had been the first of the 25 selected, Krivda said they were allowed first pick of the cheering location.

The Belles squad chose mile nine at the corner of Clark and Belden Ave., where there was music and entertainment for both runners and spectators.

“We passed out spirit beads and led crowds in running chants,” she said.

Spore said when they could read the runners’ names, they shouted them out with encouraging words like, “stay strong” and “you can do it.”

“We got such a great response out of the girls that went, and everyone was really enthusiastic,” Spore said. “I felt like the runners really appreciated it. It was rewarding enough to try to do it again.”