Atholton High School's varsity cheerleading team took second place at the fall state championships last week, and River Hill placed fourth in a field of eight.
Atholton finished 2 points behind the first-place C. Milton Wright High School of Harford County. Frederick County's Urbana High School was third.
The event was held at North Point High School in Charles County
Three judges evaluated each school on a scale of 100 points, taking into consideration the team's tumbling, pyramids, stunts and dance elements in the 2 1/2 -minute routines.
"We had a great night," said Atholton coach Amy Tieperman. "It was another night of an almost perfect routine."
Cheerleading has been a varsity sport in Howard County since fall last year.
Because it is now an official sport, there are separate tryouts for the fall and winter squads.
Tieperman said many of her fall team members will spend the winter competing with non-school cheerleading teams, making room for newcomers on Atholton's squad.
Atholton and River Hill qualified for the state contest by placing first and fourth, respectively, at the regional championships. Atholton also is the county champion.