The Student Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School

Dons Press

The Student Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School

Dons Press

The Student Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School

Dons Press

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From Don to Buckeye: Alumni Hailey Meyers Celebrates National Champion Win

OSUDT wins National Champions in the Jazz Division with a score of 98.9206. Picture provided via Varsity Spirit.

Cathedral Catholic Alumni, Hailey Meyers ‘23, makes history and headlines with a double National Champion win with The Ohio State Dance Team this past month. Amid the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at The Walt Disney World Resort, Varsity Spirit hosted the famous and fierce 2024 UCA & UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship on January 12-14. Amongst 300 universities from 48 states, The Ohio State University placed first place National Champions in D1A Gameday and D1A Jazz, and second place in the D1A pom category. Hailey Meyers, prior Cathedral Catholic Varsity Dance Team Co-Captain, shares her unique experience training and vying for the gold. 

Training for months, sharpening mindsets, and pushing skills past the limit. Meyers elaborates, “The process for preparing for UDA is like no other. Everything we do correlates to our success on that floor.” The Bucks are supported by “an amazing circle that includes sports psychology, strength training coach, and training” to alleviate their “8 hours a day training, cleaning and bonding,” Meyers insights. Although the days are long, Meyers articulates, “The people I am surrounded with make it easy and so fun because we are all there for the same reason and all want to win so badly.” 

Hailey Meyers ‘23 family comes to support her at UDA Nationals 2024, decked out in OSU merch.

To counterbalance the rigorous physical demand Meyers discloses, “We also take recovery very important.” For the Buckeyes, the recovery maintenance involves “ice baths, chryo, and float tanks to ensure our bodies are ready for the next day,” says Meyers. She adds that along with physical recuperation, “Nutrition is also a huge part of recovery that we take very seriously when preparing for UDA.” 

The arena energetically crowds with supporting students, families, fans, and alumni. Meyers describes, “The audience is basically on the stage with you because they are so close and you just feen off not only your teammate’s energy but the audience as well.” Meyers reminisces, “I was speechless walking off the stage and I will never forget the smile and tears of joy I had after knowing all our hard work had truly paid off.” 

Meyers, driven by an unwavering dream to enter the realm of the collegiate-level dance team, has ardently watched the UDA Nationals annually. She expresses, “I have seen so many videos of the arena and the stage but it is nothing like I expected.” Having always hungered to perform on the famous stage she remarks, “stepping out on the final floor for the first time ever” was her “favorite memory” from nationals.  

Some moments in life we never forget. Meyers describes her unforgettable moment at Nationals, “After we did jazz finals we walked outside to go see our parents and there was a huge line of fans and little girls crying and waiting for us to come out after performing.” She reflects, “Just knowing that we were able to move that many people from doing a dance we love so much, truly was an amazing feeling.” Through committed artistry and inquisition storytelling, Meyers, alongside the Buckeyes, cast an impact in the audience’s hearts. 

CCDT alumni Emma Hellenkamp ‘23, Sophia Derienzo ‘23, and Hailey Meyers ‘23 in their college uniforms at UDA Nationals 2024.

The anticipation surrounding the awards ceremony thickens in the arena. Meyers describes awards, “You are surrounded by your teammates squeezing each other’s hands waiting for your name to get called.” She shares that the moment she heard their name get called as national champions, “immediate tears stream down not only my face but everyone else’s” as “literal blood sweat, and tears have gone into these dances.” She illustrates, “We all immediately run to our coaches and families which makes the win 1000x better seeing their smiles and tears of joy.” The victory is furnished with immense love, gratitude, and overwhelming joy for the journey.

Named the “Dancer Super Bowl” by many social media users, huge crowds of supporting students, families, fans, and alumni gathered in Orlando while virtual audiences live-streamed. Meyers depicts, “Not only seeing the support we have on the internet but also the love other sports at this school has for us…means the world to me.” 

According to Meyers, last year the team received “hate online” following the 2023 UDA nationals which was something Meyers teammates “never wanted to experience again…and we didn’t.” Contrary to the previous “hate,” the Bucks have earned ample social media acclaim. A video of the OSU team jazz performance on TikTok has since been viewed 5.5 million times with supporting remarks filling the comments section. Additionally, from passionate dancers to enthusiastic non-dancers, everyone’s taking on the viral trend – slamming their jackets to the song “My Way” by Frank Sinatra, OSU’s national signature move. 

Now that the rigorous road to nationals has subsided, Meyers declares that they have been “granted a two-week break, which is the best reward we could ask for.” A two-week break is an excellent chance for rest, quality time with loved ones, and potential visits back home. Meyers is seizing this opportunity to reunite with her family and close friends, making the most of the break.

Hailey Meyers ‘23, at her senior night at CCHS with Sofia Mah ‘24, the writer of this article.

Meyers earnestly reflects, “Nothing could’ve prepared me for the rollercoaster I have experienced since being on OSUDT.” Yet, she credits, “CCDT taught me how to be an amazing teammate and how to always be there for whoever needs it.” Meyers has bestowed an indelible legacy upon CCDT and the illustrious Dons community, a legacy that she tirelessly continues to amplify with magnificence in her endeavors with the esteemed Buckeyes. 

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About the Contributor
Sofia Mah
Sofia Mah, Staffer
Hi! I’m Sofia Mah and my passion lies in human connection, dance, creativity, and nature. Journalism is my outlet for amplifying the voices of marginalized individuals and communities, forging profound connections with people to tell their stories authentically. Through my writing and passions, I aim to create a more empathetic world where diverse voices are heard.

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