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Dance Team: Brainerd places sixth, Aitkin third

MINNEAPOLIS — The Brainerd dance team qualified for its first finals appearance and Aitkin finished third at the state jazz tournament Friday at Target Center.

Brainerd placed sixth behind Eastview, which broke Maple Grove’s hold on the Class 3A championship and claimed its second Jazz title. The Lightning won their one previous title in 2000. Wayzata placed second and Maple Grove settled for third. Chaska finished fourth and St. Cloud Tech finished fifth.

“We were thrilled to make the finals,” said Brainerd head coach Cindy Clough. “We have been on the bubble for so many years that it was exciting to finally break through. Many alumni shared on the steps along the way to get us there.

“Our jazz program has been a work in progress and making the finals was big for us. I feel it will be a big confidence boost for our team. We feel like they did not truly believe how good they were, but know they now others thought so, too.”

Jasmine Ward and Melissa Svoboda of Brainerd were named to the Class 3A all-tournament team.

Aitkin placed third in the Class 1A finals. Yellow Medicine East repeated as state champions. Duluth Marshall finished second.

It’s the fifth straight year Aitkin has scored a top three finish. It won the state title in 2012 and was second last season.

Earning all spots on the Class 1A all-tournament team from Aitkin were Madison Johnson and Jenna Bordwell.

Aitkin will compete in Saturday’s high kick competition. The qualifying round will begin at 11:30 a.m. at Target Center.

Class 3A finals: 1-Eastview, 2-Wayzata, 3-Maple Grove, 4-Chaska, 5-St. Cloud Tech, 6-Brainerd

Class 1A Finals: 1-Yellow Medicine East (Granite Falls), 2-Duluth Marshall, 3-Aitkin, 4-Frazee, 5-Rockford, 6-Tracy-Milroy-Balaton

Next: State high kick tournament, Target Center, Saturday, Aitkin in qualifying for Class 1A, 11:30 a.m.; Brainerd in qualifying for Class 3A, 2 p.m.; Class 1A finals, 5:30 p.m.; Class 3A finals 7:15 p.m.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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