Junior stunts at world championship

Jake Robledo brings home the gold at the ICU World Championship

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Junior Jake Robledo wearing the US Junior Coed team uniform after bringing home the gold medal

Balancing world championships and the junior theme is not a typical dilemma for the average New Trier student, but Jake Robledo is not the average student. 

On April 20 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports® Complex, New Trier Junior Jake Robledo competed in the International Cheer Union World Championship for junior coed cheerleading with the U.S. Junior Coed team.

According to Robledo, the team is an elite group of athletes, selected meticulously by the coaches. 

We are very proud of the athlete and teammate he provided the US National Junior Coed team. His family, community, school, and high school coaches should share in that pride for helping mold an incredible young man.”

— Jared Erlenbaugh

“You had to be very experienced to be able to be on the mat.”

For him in particular, the choreographer for New Trier and the JUCO head coach, Jared Erlenbaugh, offered him the chance to try out, knowing Robledo could gain experience from the opportunity. 

Erlenbaugh said that Robledo represented his country with class, character, and talent. 

“We are very proud of the athlete and teammate he provided the US National Junior Coed team. His family, community, school, and high school coaches should share in that pride for helping mold an incredible young man.”

New Trier Varsity coach Kelsey Okane agrees that Robledo is an exemplary athlete who is a respectful, hardworking leader on the team. 

“He has changed the game for our program and I’m thankful he could see the amazing opportunity for him here,” she said.

According to Robledo, he has been practicing on the weekends with the JUCO team while balancing school work and additional, required, training throughout the school week. With the limited amount of practice time that the team could manage given the geographically diverse group, the whole team had to practice on weekdays as well. 

Given the pressure and significance of the competition, Robledo said his emotions in the moment before going on stage were a lot of nerves. 

“The whole world could see this [because] it was being streamed on the Olympic Channel. It was very nerve wracking but also exciting.”

Robledo enjoyed the dynamic of the U.S. team and the bonds that the sport helps create and grow. 

“I love the connections on the teams that [I’m] on. It almost feels like a family because you all have to trust each other to be able to do stunts. We’re all very supportive of each other.”

One of Robledo’s New Trier teammates, junior Brooke Osborne, reinforces the idea that the sport truly brings people together. 

“I met [Jake] through cheer and I became friends with him through it, [since then] he’s always been there for me in every way possible.” 

According to Osborne, Robledo is also always pushing his teammates to be better and encourages them to go above and beyond in order to improve.

Competing for the U.S. team is well deserved, as Robeldo has been competing in gymnastics and cheer for many years. 

“When I was younger, I did gymnastics for 8 years. One of my favorite events when I did it was floor. So my whole life I’ve just loved being active and tumbling and doing gymnastics. ” 

This opportunity meant a lot to Robeldo.

“I was really proud of myself. Im [also] really proud of my teammates and just the fact that we were representing the US.”