Cheerleading team of girl who drowned wins national competition in Florida

The Westside Cubs wanted to go to Florida for their teammate. They said they wanted to Florida to honor Adriana Douglas - and they did that. Then - they won.

Adriana Douglas was just 9 years old. She and the rest of the team were in Chicago for a cheerleading competition in November - the weekend before Thanksgiving - when tragedy struck. The 9-year-old was swimming in the hotel pool when she somehow got stuck in the suction and drowned.

RELATED: 9-year-old Detroit cheerleader dies in drowning on team trip

The team was devastated but said they still wanted to go to Florida to compete in nationals for Douglas.

"She's up in heaven, cheerleading for the Lord," says Vanessa Jackson, a league organizer. "They want to go there in her honor."

But it wasn't easy getting to the Orlando tournament and after they lost a teammate, they were both heartbroken and unable to afford the trip. A GoFundMe was started to raise $6,000 to get the team to Florida.

MORE: Cheer squad who lost teammate tries to raise money for tournament trip

When FOX 2 told their story, Michael Hager stepped in. His daughters said they had to help - and they did. He paid the rest of the tab to fly the team to Florida in time for the competition.

RELATED: Business owner foots the bill for cheerleading team of girl who drowned in Chicago pool

On Sunday, FOX 2 learned that the girls won the national competition both cheer and dance.

When Adriana died, the girls vowed to honor her in their run. It's safe to say they made good on that promise to their friend and teammate.

If the girls would have been unable to get to Florida, they would have had to forfeit the competition.

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