Jannealyn Aquino’s excellence: No. 1 senior cheerleader in nation, 4.5 GPA

Jannealyn Aquino has a tenacity and commitment that is matched by few. She is the No. 1 senior cheerleader in the nation after being ranked first at The College Combine. Radford won the OIA team championship and the state medium division title. Jamm Aquino/jaquino@staradvertiser.com.

Training went off the charts when Jannealyn Aquino decided to compete in The College Combine in New Jersey last August.

She traveled with three Radford teammates and coach Bo Frank. The preparation was there thanks to year-round training with the All-Stars club team, but the combine included a 50-yard dash, vertical leap and push-ups. She trained with her father, Robert Lau, putting in many quiet, grueling hours.

“I live on a mountain, so we would run up a hill,” Aquino recalled.

The work was grueling and the reward was the ultimate: a No. 1 ranking among all seniors. Aquino, junior Taejah Ray Telles-Kuwahara and freshman Saxoni Frank all earned No. 1 rankings. Makenna Ching earned a No. 2 ranking. College coaches from across the country were there, scouting and taking notes.

“Jannealyn is the model student-athlete. Jayjay has four AP classes and a 4.5 GPA. I am amazed that she can handle the academic load she has and still excel in the sport,” coach Frank said. “She is the silent leader, and also the mat talks well.”

Radford cheer coach Bo Frank says Jannealyn Aquino is a silent leader, but she is all action and elite results on the mat and in the classroom. From left: Jazaelyalyn Aquino-Lau, Robert Lau, Claudelyn Aquino, Jaezen Aquino-Lau, Jannealyn Aquino. Photo courtesy of Jannealyn Aquino.
Radford Rams cheerleaders Saxoni Frank, bottom, and Jannealyn (Jayjay) Aquino were part of Radford’s seven-strong team that won the state championship (medium division) last week at Blaisdell Arena. Jamm Aquino/jaquino@staradvertiser.com.
The Rams took the 2021 HHSAA State championship with just seven members in their squad.

The Radford Rams went on to have a perfect season in Oahu Interscholastic Association and state tournament, winning four OIA competitions, including the league championship. Radford then won the Medium Division state title at Blaisdell Arena.

Frank teaches at Radford and has guided the Rams to 11 state titles. He was an advisor to nephew Ridge Frank for one season when Radford won another state championship.

“All of them do more than what is asked. I’m blessed that so many of my kids do. All three of them are on Island Elites (club) level five team. They take private lessons to hone in their already elite skills,” coach Frank said. “And on top of that training with their club, they train with their fathers to improve strength and conditioning!”

Aquino is enjoying a brief break, but is looking forward to a busy winter and spring.

“My life has been more positive after states. I feel very accomplished and now can focus on other competitions that are coming up.

The Radford Rams were precise, explosive and dedicated to each other, winning the OIA and state cheer championships. Front: Jannealyn Aquino,. Second row: Taejah Ray Telles-Kuwahara, Makenna Ching. Third row: Shylah Paulo, Saxoni Frank, Juju Donato. Back: Jaja McFadden. Photo courtesy of Bo Frank.
Radford’s long and proud history in competitive cheer includes three nationwide, top-ranked cheerleaders, including senior Jannealyn Aquino. Jamm Aquino/jaquino@staradvertiser.com.

Jayjay’s lockdown staples

Top 3 shows/movies

1. “Heaven Is For Real”

2. “The Great Wall”

3. “Titanic”

Top 3 food/snack/drink

1. Spicy ahi

2. San yung spicy noodles

3. Flamin’ hot Cheetos

Top 3 music artists

1. Celine Dion – “The Heart Will Go On”

2. Laga Savea (ft. Fiji) – “Take Me Away”

3. Christina Aguilera – “Reflection”

Favorite class: Tumbling.

“I’m blessed to have outstanding teachers that help me further my education

Time machine: 2017

“At my old Makakilo house to see my Ninjaboy, our beloved family dog, and save him.”

GPA: 4.5 (senior year).

New life skill

“I’ve learned to step out of my comfort zone.”

Hidden talent

“I can turn invisible, but only when no one is looking.”

Shout outs

“To my loving family and friends, Coach Bo and Coach Pash.”


  1. Rob December 25, 2021 1:15 pm

    so amazing ! No one works harder than her.

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