Cheerleader with local ties reaching for the stars

by Jill Pearson
Staff Writer
As a friend of his mom’s on Facebook, I became curious about former Monticello resident Jalen Bradford and how he has been excelling at Cheer since attending Westlake High school in Utah County.
His ambition couldn’t be stopped so he tried out for MAC’s All-Star Cheer club in Draper. “This is my first season doing All-Star cheer. After last season, my teams are reigning World Champions and Summit Champions,” Bradford explained.
He was on two teams, Senior Starz (World Champs) and Wicked (Summit Champs). Senior Starz is a small coed-6 team and Wicked is a under-18 level-four coed team.
The exciting part is our small town boy is part of it and MAC’s Cheer is gaining momentum in the competitive cheer arena. “STARZ was invited to the cheerleading Majors in Indianapolis, IN and we got to compete with the top 24 teams in the world,” continued Bradford.
“They had crews fly out to film us and it was an insane experience!” They ended up winning the Majors in their division, which they were not expecting. 
“We then competed at Cheersport in Atlanta, GA and both teams came home in second.” NCA was in Dallas, TX in February and is the biggest cheer competition in the world this season. The Wicked team won and STARZ came home in second. 
“At Cheersport in Atlanta, STARZ won a paid bid to the cheerleading worlds which is worth $25,000 to go to the worlds for free!” Bradford said.
I asked Jalen about his time commitments and what his personal goals were. He said they practiced a minimum of four days for a total of around 12 hours a week. “My specialty is definitely stunting, and I’m a backspot. I still tumble here and there, but in my current routine, I only compete a standing full.”
His goals included stunts that he was able to master. A running full is a layout (straight flip) that spins once. A standing full is a back tuck that spins once.
After high school cheer, it became Bradford’s goal to make MAC’s Wicked or STARZ team but he did both. “My current goal now is to globe at the Cheerleading Worlds.” (That means to place in the top 3.)
I for one was excited to see him excel. It looks like he has many opportunities ahead of him. “Cheer has pushed me so far and has taught me many lessons,” Bradford said.
“I have been pushed into a very competitive and challenging sport very fast, on a high level team. My body has become stronger and I have pushed myself beyond what I thought I could do.”
Congratulations, Jalen, on your accomplishments. We hope you keep reaching for the stars.
Jalen is the son of Rolaina Bradford of Bluffdale and Michael and Danielle Bradford of Monticello. He is the grandson of Larry and the late Karen Moore of Monticello and Russell and Salvacion Bradford of Blanding.

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