Upper Darby Cheerleaders Compete at Nationals

By Kelly Bayliss
|  Wednesday, Feb 16, 2011  |  Updated 12:14 PM EDT
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The <a title=Upper Darby cheerleaders are fighting the clock and increasing pressure, mentally, in the final days before they head off to Nationals.

Tumbling to the Top, Part 1
Tumbling to the Top, Part 2
Tumbling to the Top, Part 3
Tumbling to the Top, Part 4
Gallery: Meet the Upper Darby Cheerleaders
Upper Darby Cheerleaders are On the Road to Nationals" />

NBC Philadelphia - Kelly Bayliss, Brad Berner, Matt Maiorano

The Upper Darby cheerleaders are fighting the clock and increasing pressure, mentally, in the final days before they head off to Nationals.

Tumbling to the Top, Part 1
Tumbling to the Top, Part 2
Tumbling to the Top, Part 3
Tumbling to the Top, Part 4
Gallery: Meet the Upper Darby Cheerleaders
Upper Darby Cheerleaders are On the Road to Nationals

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Photos and Videos

Tumbling to the Top: The Road to Nationals Part 3

With just a week left before heading off to Nationals, the Upper Darby squad is working incredibly hard to stay focused and we meet the cheerleaders behind the cheerleaders.

Tumbling to the Top, Part 1
Tumbling to the Top, Part 2
Tumbling to the Top, Part 3
Tumbling to the Top, Part 4
Gallery: Meet the Upper Darby Cheerleaders
Upper Darby Cheerleaders are On the Road to Nationals
More Photos and Videos

One day. Sixteen girls. One top spot.

Upper Darby's Cheerleaders, who we've been following in our Tumbling to the Top series, compete for the big prize this weekend.

They're in Orlando working through their final practices. On Saturday, they go up against the most elite squads in the country.

Last year the UD Royals took second place. This year, they want the big trophy.

If you’re one of those stubborn people who thinks cheerleading is a not sport, think again.

Cheerleaders are pure athletes.They train hard (and keep in mind they wear absolutely no protective gear). They’re gymnasts. They condition and most importantly, they compete.

And if they’re really talented, like both the junior varsity and varsity cheerleading squads at Upper Darby Senior High School in Drexel Hill, Pa., they get to competed at the national level at the Universal Cheerleading Association’s National High School Championship.

This year, they’re fighting their way to the top, the very top, and after a long, hard, year with a whole lotta’ obstacles, wouldn’t that be icing on the cake?

We're following the competition on our Facebook page over the weekend. Go Royals!

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