Ten months ago, Infinite Athletics of Oakdale opened its doors. Today the dance and cheer gym has three banners hanging on the walls as they have taken home three major championships in the short time frame.
Their most recent victory came in May at South Point Arena in Las Vegas for the US Finals. Eleven young athletes made up the team known as Infi9+2. Out of the 11 cheer competitors, seven are from Oakdale while others joined the team from Hilmar, Grass Valley, Modesto and Hughson.
“We started out with nine girls, and just before the competition we had two more girls sign up and that’s how we came up with the name,” Coach Ashley Dillon said of the unique name.
Infi9+2 members are Raelyn Garcia, Alicia Hernandez, Jayden Perry, Jaelyn Brazil, Callie Hanson, Kylie Silagi, Mikiala Linares, Ariana DeAnda, Jacquelyn LeCouve, Makenzie Thompson and McKenzie Johann-Velarde.
In the competition, Infinite was the only Division II competitive team with the rest of the teams from Division I.
“What was unique about the US Finals was we were the only team from Division II. Division I means your gym has 150-plus kids and Division II is smaller gyms with 124 kids or less. The committee actually tried to convince us not to go because the competition is so fierce and that we are a small gym and also new,” said Jason Dillon of Infinite Athletics.
Not only did Oakdale go; they dominated as they took first place and did not have any deductions from their score. The girls made the most of their two minute routine as they won by 2.5 points. Infinite Athletics had one month to prepare for the competition. The two minute route consisted of tumbling, stepping and dancing.
“We did not have very much time to prepare for this. We had won a competition about six weeks before to get the bid to go,” Ashley Dillon said. “The girls were shocked that they were going. We did not know that we qualified for it until the very end of the previous competition. We did our routine and we waited for the awards portion of the evening. We did not expect any awards but we wanted to cheer on the other teams.
“When they said our team name the girls were in complete shock and so was I, to be honest. Once we returned home, the girls were focused and got right back to work and were determined to win.”
The team went 3-0 this season winning the Cheersport Grand Championship, the American National Championship and US Finals National Championship.
The team is coached by Ashley Dillon, Tom Wohling, Nichole Montgomery and Amy Dillon.