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Dance Team: Warriors kick their way into state

FOREST LAKE—Brainerd is headed back to state.

The Brainerd Warriors captured the Section 4-3A Kick championship Saturday with a total score of 573 and a rank point total of six.

Brainerd topped second-place Anoka by three total points and two rank points.

"Winning the sections was a great experience for our team," said Brainerd head coach Cindy Clough. "It looked like an explosion of athletes when they announced Brainerd. We have not had a first-place all year so this was the day to do it. We have been back to the drawing board so many times and have worked so hard that it was great to see them rewarded.

"We were pleased with how we performed in both categories. It was a good day as we felt they were the best performances of the year. The energy scores really edged us up. The team went in knowing they had to bring energy to have a hope of going to state. The nerves and energy are a big part of controlling your destiny at a big meet. Coaches were proud of how the team performed and handled the pressure. We realized that we only were dancing nine who had competed at sections before, so we were pretty proud of how they handled themselves. Standing in that awards line is so hard as you never really know how the outcome will be in a judged sport. We thought we had done well and expected to place in kick. I thought we would win kick, but you never know. When Anoka was announced 2nd I thought we would win, but was still worried Blaine could be a contender, even though I thought we were better. Last year in jazz I thought we were winning and Blaine won, so I didn't want to be overly confident."

St. Cloud Tech finished first to round out the state meet competitors in kick.

In Jazz, Brainerd finished fifth with 18 rank points and 534 total points. Blaine won the jazz section title with Anoka finishing second and Tech third.

"There were so many great teams and they only take three so we knew it would be tough," Cloud said. "We had come out ahead of Tech and Duluth East two weeks earlier and they came out ahead of us today so we are really quite equal in terms of how we performed. I felt Duluth East had an exceptional performance and didn't end up going either. All teams are very respectable and it is getting harder and harder every year. The level is up there.

"I feel the crowd helped cheer on our team. The stands were packed with Warrior Blue and that was encouraging to our team to have so much support. Alumni, teachers, parents, young dancers, aunts, uncles, grandparents and even my granddaughters were cheering us on."

Jazz: 1-Blaine 4 rank points, 2-Anoka 8, 3-St. Cloud Tech 13.5, 4-Duluth East 16, 5-Brainerd 18, 6-Andover 26, 7-St. Frances 27, 8-Rogers 29, 9-Elk River 36, 10-Forest Lake 40, 11-Coon Rapids 44, 12-Moorhead 48.5, 13-Buffalo 50.5, 14-Bemidjij 55,

Brainerd results

Jazz skills: Technique of turns 50, Technique of leaps and jumps 53, Difficulty of skills 54

Execution: Placement and control 51, Degree of accuracy 49

Choreography: Visual effectiveness and creativity 54, practicality of content 56

Difficulty: Choreography 54, Combinations 55

Routine effectiveness 58

Total points: 534

Rank Points 18

Kick: 1-Brainerd 6, 2-Anoka 8, 3-St. Cloud Tech 10.5, 4-Blane 12, 5-Andover 18, 6-Rogers 28, 7-Forest Lake 28, 8-Elk River 28, 9-Duluth East 32, 10-St. Frances 40.5, 11-Moorhead 45, 12-Coon Rapids 45.5, 13-Bemidji 52, 14-Buffalo 56

Brainerd results

Kicks: Technique 56, Height 57, Difficulty 59

Execution: Placement and control 56, Degree of accuracy 55

Choreography: Visual effectiveness and creativity 57, Practicality of content 56

Difficulty: Choreography and combinations 57, Formations and transitions 58

Routine effectiveness: 62

Total points: 573

Next: State dance team meet at Target Center, Minneapolis, Feb. 12-13.