Rio Rancho High School cheerleaders in action this winter during a break in a basketball game at Cleveland High School. (Herron photo)


The Pit will be busy with more state high school activity this weekend, with the state spirit championships running Friday and Saturday.

The dance competition is up first today, with qualifying schools performing a pair of routines. The same format follows on Saturday for cheer and co-ed squads.

Performances in dance began at 8:30 a.m. Friday and will run until about 3 p.m., with the team champions announced after schools have done their two routines.

The much fuller Saturday schedule begins with the first school at 8 a.m. The final routine is scheduled for 9:25 p.m., after which the trophy winners in each classification will be revealed.

Sandia Prep (1A-3A), Hope Christian (4A) and Roswell (5A) are out to defend titles from 2022. Hope is seeking its fourth straight state championship in dance, although there was no 2020 state spirit competition due to the pandemic.

Defending state cheerleading champions are Questa (1A-2A), Raton (3A), Taos (4A) and Rio Rancho (5A). Lovington (1A-4A) and Hobbs (5A) were the co-ed state champions a year ago.

There are two panels of judges, 12 dance judges and 12 cheer judges.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for K-12, seniors and military. All ticket sales are subject to a transaction fee; tickets can be purchased at Seating at the Pit is general admission. Parking at UNM is $7 per vehicle.