Local cheerleaders perform in London

Two Tucumcari Rattlers cheerleaders started off the New Year performing in a parade in London, England.

"It was a life-changing experience that I'd like to do again," said Aby Jimenez, sophomore.

Jimenez and Jolene Marroquin, a senior, were selected in July to be a part of the parade through a Universal Cheerleader Association's varsity All-American tryout held in Tucumcari.

"We were among 2,000 cheerleaders selected from across the United States," Marroquin said.

Jimenez said they were sent their routine two weeks in advance to learn and rehearse on their own time. She said there was only one large rehearsal held before the parade, so there was pressure to get it right.

Marroquin said it was fun to interact with the other cheerleaders, it gave them a chance to learn different techniques.

"It's great to know that we can come from all over the country and meet for the first time and work together as if we had been cheering together since we were young," Marroquin said.

Marroquin and Jimenez departed on Dec. 26 and were in England until Jan. 2.

Jimenez said they had a chance to see many of the landmarks and attractions, including Big Ben and Windsor Castle.

Marroquin said it was not only her first time flying, it was an international flight, one which resulted in her luggage being lost. She said her luggage was recovered though it was done after she had already returned to Tucumcari.

"It was a set back," Marroquin said. "The plus side, I got to shop and when someone ask where I got my boots I get to smile and say "in London."

Jimenez said the trip was fun and something she will never forget, though her focus has returned to her duties as team captain of the Lady Rattlers cheerleaders.

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