7- time high school sprint medalist Johnni Schueman goes from running on the track to cheering on the track. The newest edition to the ISU cheer team never thought twice about her decision to leave competitive sports behind after the state track meet.
In her final race, she finished seventh in the Class 1-A 100-meter dash. It was the fourth time she had placed in the event at the state meet in her career. Schueman called it her biggest athletic accomplishment, saying she knew she had peaked during her junior season.
“This was a hard year,” she said. “I could tell I wasn’t as fast. But, all year, I just wanted to make state that fourth year. And once I got there, my goal was to make finals. I did, and that was really special.”
If Schueman wanted to she could’ve kept running competitively. Some smaller four-year schools in Iowa inquired about her interest in college track, but she never really considered it.
She needed change.
Collegiate cheerleading is much different than what Schueman did in high school, because of its emphasis on tumbling and stunt work. She knew her background in gymnastics would certainly help, but she took private lessons and tumbled on her own to stay sharp.
The Cyclone cheerleading tryouts lasted three days and were open to anyone attending Iowa State in the fall, including returning members from last years squad. Over 800 potential cheerleaders were competing for 35 total spots.
“It was such a long and stressful weekend,” Schueman said. “I didn’t know what to expect at all. It was a Division I college, but I knew I was going to be disappointed if I didn’t make it.”
After days of practice and learning the ISU fight song, Schueman was relieved to find that she was among the 24 on ISU’s all-girl squad and another 13 made the co-ed team.
Schueman has a busy summer ahead of her before she even begins her first season of cheering on the Cyclone football team. Schueman will be making volunteer appearances on the Cyclone Tailgate Tour and performing at the Shrine Bowl in late July.