BLAINE-The Brainerd Warrior dance team finished first in kick with a 443 score and placed second in jazz with 426 points Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Blaine Invite.

"Varsity had a great day," said Warrior head coach Cindy Clough. "They won kick and came in second in jazz. We were 33 points ahead of second place Maple Grove in kick and 16 points behind them in Jazz. We were happy with our performances and our athlete's efforts have been amazing.

"I can't ask for more, but I do. They really want it and that is the catalyst for the role they are on. I was worried we were competing too much, every Saturday of January through February, but it has really peaked their desire to win and their confidence. I always say success breeds success. You get a taste of it and want more. That's what is happening. We just need them to rest in between. Pretty much all they do is eat, sleep, study, dance."

Brainerd's junior varsity finished first in both kick and jazz with scores of 285 and 293.

"Coach Ebinger felt they nailed both routines the best they had all year. It was a good time to peak," said Clough,

Brainerd will now move to sections Saturday, Feb. 2, as they try and move up from last years second-place finish in both kick and jazz.

"Coaches are constantly analyzing scores," said Clough. "Anoka is the toughest team to beat in our section right now. A lot can change in a week so we will continue to fine-tune both routines and work on all elements of our routines.

"This is the time of year the athletes really have to have thick skin as we analyze the heck out of personal placement, timing and form. We use slow motion video, stopping and starting the film to see who is off. At times it is painful to watch if you are off and we watch it 10 times. Our athletes are conditioned that feedback is part of our training."

Brainerd's average score has improved to 86.4 in kick and 85.2 in jazz.

This year's Section 4-3A meet will be at Forest Lake High School. Tickets will go on sale at 9:30 a.m. Prices are $8 for adults and $5 for students. Doors will open at 10:20 a.m. Kick competition will start at 11 with jazz beginning at 1 p.m.

Brainerd's kick team will be the 12th team out of 15 to perform. Brainerd's jazz team will be the fifth team out of 14 teams to perform.

The announcing for the winners and those advancing to state will be at 3:10 p.m.

Because of the number of spectators and additional teams added to the section, seating will be on both sides of the gym. Teams will alternate which way they face. Brainerd will face away from the sound table.

The top three teams in each category advance to state.

Team scores:

Jazz: 1-Maple Grove 443, 2-Brainerd 426, 3-Centennial 405, 4-Blaine 380, 5-Champlin Park 369, 6-Duluth East 375, 7-Forest Lake 369, 8-Elk River 361, 9-St Francis 342, 10-Rogers 334, 11-St Michael Albertville 228, 12-Osseo 288

Kick: 1-Brainerd 432, 2-Maple Grove 399, 3-Blaine 376, 4-Centennial 376, 5-Duluth East 369, 6-Forest Lake 368, 7-Champlin Park 359, 8-St Michael/Albertville 338, 9-Rogers 308, 10-St Francis 302, 11-Elk River 299, 12-Osseo 286,

Next: Brainerd in Section 4-3A meet at Forest Lake Saturday, Feb. 2