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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

Flying High: A Journey of Resilience and Triumph in Collegiate STUNT

Embracing New Opportunities, Shaping the Future of Collegiate Athletics, and Inspiring Others to Pursue Their Passions
Flyer Lily Boldman does a routine for the Eagles. (Retrieved from AU STUNT)

Transitioning from high school to collegiate competition can be marked by obstacles, victories, and unanticipated chances. Lily Boldman, a senior, has had an incredible journey to become a standout athlete on Ashland University’s STUNT squad.

Boldman’s path, which began with her cheerleading days and continues now as a flyer on the STUNT squad, is an inspiration to perseverance, drive, and the ability to seize opportunities.

Boldman began playing athletics even before she enrolled at Ashland University. As a child, she dabbled in a variety of other sports and activities, including sideline cheerleading, competitive gymnastics, and dancing classes.

Boldman said, “I did various dance classes and was also on a competitive gymnastics team in third grade.”

Boldman became acquainted with the world of STUNT, a competitive sport derived from traditional cheerleading, in her senior year of high school. Her six years of sideline and all-star cheerleading experience, which she developed before her undergraduate career, made her introduction to varsity athletics easier.

Despite having a great deal of experience cheering, Boldman initially had second thoughts about joining a collegiate cheer squad. But following an encounter at a college cheer combine, everything was different.

“The summer before my senior year of high school, I got to go to an Ohio State college cheer combine. After that, I had the chance to talk with several different college programs; Ashland was not one of them at the time, though” said Boldman.

She visited an Ashland University combine and was intrigued by the program’s warm and inclusive environment. She felt at home and safe on campus, so she made the decision to commit to Ashland University and begin the next chapter of her athletic career.

Boldman has experienced many noteworthy events and accomplishments during his time in college. For her and her teammates, winning the conference championship for a second consecutive year stands out as their greatest accomplishment.

“ My favorite memory would have to be winning GMACs this year. The main reason being this time it was just more memorable and was fought for both on and off the mat. I just remember the mat official distributing the points of the final round of the game and as soon as he signaled the point for jumps and tumbling, I just collapsed to the floor in tears, knowing that we had won the game.”

As she is ready to graduate and start the next phase of her life, she considers how far she has gone since starting her college career. Thanks for the opportunity and encouragement.

Boldman said, “Looking back on these past four years, I have come so far both personally and athletically. I feel as though I have grown as a person in ways that I don’t think I would’ve if it weren’t for this team and the opportunities I have been given. I think it goes for the same athletically. The STUNT team in general has accomplished so much and I am so proud and happy to have been a apart of this team since the beginning.” Upon reflecting on her time at Ashland University, Lily is overwhelmed with thankfulness for the encounters, connections, and recollections that helped mold her into the person and athlete she is now.

Lily Boldman’s transition from cheerleader to STUNT at Ashland University is an example of perseverance, ambition, and the capacity to grasp opportunities. As she prepares to graduate, Lily leaves a legacy of courage, resiliency, and unwavering determination that encourages others to follow in her footsteps and never give up on their hustle.

Boldman will be finishing up her athletic career at AU at the Stunt Nationals competing in Creve Coeur, MO. They will be competing against No. 3 Dallas Baptist on April 26.

“I am just so proud of this team for winning the conference and qualifying for Nationals. We as a team have overcome so many obstacles this year and I think to see how our hard work, perseverance, and love for one another shine through all of those challenges is just a testament to the team Denise has built.”

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