Meet the athlete: Kara Kroontje
By Mae Jacobson, Associate Editor
Washington State University cheerleader Kara Kroontje has an unlikely story for a collegiate athlete. Born prematurely at 29 weeks, Kara weighed 1 pound, 12 ounces and could fit in her father’s palm. She never let it slow her down! Kara started gymnastics and ballet at the WAC at age 3. What began as a way to develop her motor skills quickly turned into a passion. Kara’s hard work led her to the Washington State University cheer squad, where she is now a senior.
Q. How did you get into cheerleading?
A. My love of the sport comes from my fondness for gymnastics tumbling combined with the fun of rooting on your team with your fellow students and fans. Cheer won my heart during my freshman year at Ballard High School.
Q. Tell us about the cheerleading community.
A. We’re a very close-knit group. It takes a lot of trust to let someone throw you into the air and catch you. We are a family who works hard to make every game a special event.
Q. How do you use the WAC?
A. I grew up going to the WAC, and I still visit to work out during school breaks. My very favorite memory of the Club growing up is having a slumber party in the Presidents Suite for my 13th birthday!
Q. What’s your favorite thing about cheerleading?
A. At WSU, it’s been great to meet the little kids who attend games. I love how happy they are to talk to us and take pictures with us. Seeing their Cougar spirit at such a young age makes all the hard work worthwhile.
Q. What’s next?
A. I’ll graduate in the spring with a strategic communication degree. Cheerleading is coming to an end for me, but I look forward to bringing the positive energy and discipline I have learned into my career and personal life after college.
As published in the January/February 2020 issue of WAC Magazine
—Posted December 20, 2019