Feb 132005
Authors: Nick Piburn

They can be seen on the court, trying their hardest to get the fans excited for the CSU basketball teams. They can be seen on the field, at the back of the end zones or at midfield with the marching band at halftime, supporting the CSU football team.

They're seen doing what they work every day for, but nobody knows the amount of time and effort they put into their performances. They are the CSU Golden Poms.

The Golden Poms is a team that sits in the middle of separate departments — music and athletics . But, there is a limited amount of money they can give to the spirit squads.

"The music and athletic departments each give us as much money as they can," said Golden Poms head coach Maria Verti. "Most of our money comes from fundraising. Each girl on the team has to raise $300."

The $300 is mostly put into a fund that helps pay for the team to go to nationals.

The Golden Poms have the longest season of all the teams at CSU, but none of the girls get scholarships. Starting in the beginning of August and ending when the basketball teams finish their seasons in March, for nearly eight months the team practices every weekday, starting with a rough first couple of weeks right before school starts where the girls have three-a-days every day, including weekends.

"The girls work so hard every day for nothing other than to dance," said team captain junior Natasha Fagg. "It's one reason they're such a talented group."

While a lot of the hard work is put toward performing in the games for students and CSU fans, there is a whole other type of hard work put into their nationals performance. Over the last two years, the Golden Poms have been one of the top college dance teams in the nation. They have even finished better than the University of Colorado the last three years.

"Nationals is something we work on separately for months," Verti said. "Most of these girls love to dance at games and compete, so being able to do both on a team that supports the school is a cool opportunity."

The team begins learning its nationals dance about halfway through first semester. The members also come back two weeks early from Winter Break to have two-a-day practices before going to Orlando to compete in the Universal Dance Alliance National Collegiate Spirit Championships right before school starts up again in January. Both cheer squads also earn their way to compete at nationals, and are among the top 25 in the nation as well. In Orlando, the Golden Poms have placed well, finishing No. 12 last year and No. 16 this year.

"The work we put into nationals is all on our own time," said sophomore Nikki Friedin. "We have to practice for our performances in games and nationals at the same time. It takes up a lot of time but it's definitely worth it when we get on stage in Orlando."

That's what it's all about for the Poms: performing. Whether it's at the games or at nationals, the team continues to excel at it.

The spirit squads will be having tryouts for anyone interested in being a cheerleader or Pom April 21-23.

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