The Rochester High School cheerleaders and their longtime coach, Susan Wood, brought home the district trophy Saturday in a competition at Troy Athens High School.
Stoney Creek High School took second place and Adams High School took fourth place. Along with Lake Orion High School, whose cheerleaders took third place, the teams will advance to next Saturday's regional competition in Lake Orion.
The top four teams to finish at regionals will advance to the state finals in Grand Rapids in March.
Less than half a point separated Rochester and Stoney Creek.
"You used to be able to win with one good round, and now you have to have three good rounds," said Wood, who has coached Rochester High's cheer team for 31 years. Before that, she cheered there herself. Her team holds the record for the most state titles: 12.
Last year, an 8-point penalty in the final round of the regionals knocked Rochester out of the state competition, which they had been to every year since 1994.
"We will never look at regionals the same again," Wood said. "I know I'll have a hard time sleeping the night before, and I know the girls will, too."