NU cheerleading star Cristobal down but not out after scary fall in practice
NU cheerleader Claire Cristobal says she suffered a cut at the back of her head and was left shaken up after a routine gone wrong in practice at the Big Dome. Jerome Ascano/ Snow Badua

REMEMBER Claire Cristobal?

She's the Lady Bulldogs cheerleader who wowed the crowd with her amazing routines during National University's sweep of the team and group stance titles during last year's UAAP season 76 cheerdance championships.

The cheerleading star was given a scare a few days ago when she fell while trying to practice a stunt with her teammates at the Smart Araneta Coliseum as they prepared for their UAAP title defense.

"Nagpa-practice po kami sa may likod ng Araneta, sa may dugout area sa may parking, tapos nung ginagawa po namin yung dual stance, bumagsak po ako sa sahig. Semento pa naman po," recalled the 18-year-old from Atlag in Malolos, Bulacan.

"Nag (aerial) tick tock po ako (six-feet throw). Tapos nag-wobble ako sa ere, hindi po na-catch yung lower body ko ng mga lifters. Nauna po ulo ko bumagsak sa sahig," she added.

The NU ace cheerdancer suffered a cut on the back of her head that needed immediate medical attention at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center. She was also left shaken up.

Luckily, a CT scan cleared Cristobal of any major injuries.

"Nagkaroon po ng maliit na sugat pero wala naman pong damage nung i-CT scan. Pero nagdugo po sa may likod ng ulo," she said.

Claire Cristobal is treated in a hospital after a routine gone wrong. Snow Badua
Claire Cristobal is treated in a hospital after a routine gone wrong. Snow Badua

Cristobal got another scare two days later when she found some traces of blood coming out of her ear. But NU pep squad team manager Patricia Chunsim bared that doctors assured the bleeding was not related to the accident.

"It wasn't related to the fall," said Chunsim.

And now that she is starting to recover, Cristobal has set her sights on defending the group stance title, a side event of the coming UAAP season 77 cheerdance contest.

But she admitted that the accident has been traumatic.

"May time po na natatakot ako ngayon. Naiilang, kasi baka magkamali na naman. Pero sabi ko nga po lagi sa sarili ko, 'Si Lord na ang bahala,'" said the third year BS Accountancy student.

"I will try to defend the crown para sa NU. I promise more flexibility," she said while vowing to come up with a more impressive routine that could rival her famous "exorcism" routine.

"Ok na po ako ngayon. After three days (nung accident), training na ko ulit," she added.

Aside from Cristobal's five-man group stance team, the NU Bulldogs, backed by the SM Group of Companies, will also defend the team title which they snatched from three-time champion UP Filipiniana last year.


"We're already preparing for it. The team is upbeat on our chances. We know other universities will try to dislodge us. There's pressure but we will protect the crown," said Chunsim, expressing confidence that coach Ghicka Bernabe and her coaching staff will come up with another fast-paced and thrilling routine.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @snowbadua