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Dance Team: Warriors outkick the competition for the win

The Brainerd Warriors varsity dance team executes one of its 47 kicks during its first-place routine Saturday, Jan. 5 at the Lakeview South Invite. Submitted photo

LAKEVILLE—The Brainerd Warriors "Never Had a Friend Like Me" routine produced a first-place kick score during the Lakeville South Invite Saturday, Jan. 5.

Brainerd's 6 rank points were one-point better than runner-up Anoka. Lakeville North finished third.

"We were thrilled to win this meet with the caliber of teams that were there, said Brainerd head coach Cindy Clough. "It was close, but we were excited to come out on top. I felt our athlete's energy level helped. They really captured the stands. We have cleaned up a lot in the past month."

Brainerd concluded the day with a fourth-place finish in jazz. Prior Lake won with four rank points followed by Maple Grove 5, Lakeville North 9 and Brainerd with 12.

"We performed Friday night at the University of Minnesota Best Of The Best Show and again Saturday at Lakeville South," Clough said. "We did much better at Lakeville and ended in fourth in jazz. We felt it was our best performance of the year thus far. We were happy to hear our name called as there were some great teams there and they only awarded four places."

Brainerd's junior varsity finished third in kick out of eight teams and fourth in jazz out of nine teams, all of which were 3A squads.

"We were pleased with the direction of our scores," Clough said. "They went up a lot. We still want them higher of course. There are 100 points possible—ten 10-point categories. Our kick scores were 86, 82, 80, 79, 77. We had 9-7s, 29-8s, 11-9s and one 10.

"Our Jazz scores were 75, 83, 85, 83, 76. We want them in the high 80s and low 90s soon. We would prefer no 70's. We had 12-7s. 24-8s and 14-9s in jazz. We need to get more of those 7s and 8s into 9s and 10s. At the beginning of the year, we had some 6s and lots of 7s so we are going in the right direction."

Brainerd will perform at halftime of the Brainerd Warriors basketball games Tuesday and Thursday in preparation for the Central Lakes Conference meet Friday, Jan. 11 at St. Cloud Apollo and then at the Anoka Invite Saturday, Jan. 12.

"I heard Anoka say as I left, 'we will get them next week,' so that will fuel us as we prepare," said Clough. "We are going to work harder than ever this week."

Kick: 1-Brainerd (6), 2-Anoka (7), 3-Lakeville North (7), 4-Prior Lake (12), 5-Lakeville South (14.5), 6-Farmington (16.5), 7-Rochester (21)

Jazz: 1-Prior Lake (4), 2-Maple Grove (5), 3-Lakeville North (9), 4-Brainerd (12), 5-Anoka (15), 6-Lakeville South (18), 7-Farmington (21), 8-Rogers (24), 9-Rochester (27), 10-Minneapolis SW (30)

Next: Brainerd in Central Lakes Conference Tournament at St. Cloud Apollo 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11.