Dance Team: Warriors dance into 3rd place, C-I finishes fifth

Brainerd and Crosby-Ironton competed in the state high kick meet Saturday, Feb. 18.

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The Brainerd Warriors celebrate after being announced as the third-place team Saturday, Feb. 18, during the Class 3A State Kick Meet at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!

MINNEAPOLIS — The second-guessing can stop for Cindy Clough and the Brainerd Warriors.

Two weeks before sections and four weeks before state, the Brainerd head coach and her coaching staff decided changes needed to be made to Brainerd’s kick routine.

That decision paid off as Brainerd finished third in the Class 3A State Meet Saturday, Feb. 18, at Target Center.

“I’m happy with it now,” Clough said with a relieved laugh. “The coaches went back and forth on whether we made the right decision, but we did. It’s kind of one of those things where if it goes great then you know what you’re doing. If it doesn’t then everybody is judging you. We’re really happy it went great.”

“I had a lot of people tell me that our dance was their favorite.”


Brainerd scored 714 total points and secured 16 rank points to place third behind state champion Eastview, which won with 737 points and six rank points, and runner-up Wayzata, which scored 736 points and eight rank points.

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The Brainerd Warriors perform their kick routine Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, during the Class 3A State Meet at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!

“I’m happy with how we scored,” Clough said. “We scored higher at our section meet. We scored 722 at our section, but we have different judges. It was hard going first in kick because our prelims scores were a little wacky. Sometimes when you go first that happens because judges have to set a base for how they’re going to score.

“We were 10 points higher in finals, but that usually happens. People asked me if our performance was better in finals than in prelims and there were some things better in prelims and other things better in finals. I would have taken either performance.”

Brainerd secured the most points out of the final six teams for its choreography as it netted 72 points for creativity — the highest among all six schools — and 76 for visual effectiveness. It also received a 76 for routine effectiveness.

Maddie Avery and Semme Hiltner were named to the Class 3A All-State kick team.

“It’s pretty emotional,” Clough said. “It varies who is most emotional. It’s not always the kids you would expect. We had a lot of tears and a lot of nerves. Interestingly enough we only had four kids who danced Saturday who will not be returning. Twenty of our 24 return and that’s a pretty big number.

“I’m just so proud of our kids in how they pulled together and embraced each other and embraced the changes. That allows us to take risks. The coaches were just super this year. They worked together as a team. I’m so proud of them.”


Class 1A

Crosby-Ironton had the hights point total for difficulty of kicks leading to a fifth-place finish in the Class 1A State Meet Saturday, Feb. 18.

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Crosby-Ironton performs its kick routine Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, during the Class 1A State Meet at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!

C-I finished with 526 total points and 24 rank points. Fourth-place Holdingford scored 527 points and 22 rank points.

St. Cloud Cathedral secured the state sweep after winning the jazz title Friday. Cathedral finished with 580 points and eight rank points. Yellow Medicine East, which finished third, scored higher than Cathedral with 581 points, but was third in rank points with 10.

Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd finished second with 578 points and nine rank points.

C-I and Holdingford tied with 104 total points for kicks. Holdingford outscored C-I by two in visual effectiveness and one in total difficulty. C-I earned a two-point cushion in execution over Holdingford.

Among the rank points, Holdingford threw out two sixes and a three. C-I had to throw out a 3.5, a five and a six. One judge had C-I and Yellow Medicine East tied for third.

Class 3A results

Kick: 1-Eastview 737 points, 6 rank points, 2-Wayzata 736 points, 8 rank points, 3-Brainerd 714 points, 16 rank points, 4-Sartell 710 points, 20 rank points, 5-Lakeville North 698 points, 22 rank points, 6-Edina 687 points 29.5 rank points.


Class 1A results

Kick: 1-St. Cloud Cathedral 580 points, 8 rank points, 2-Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd 578 points, 9 rank points, 3-Yellow Medicine East 581 points, 10 rank points, 4-Holdingford 427 points, 22 rank points, 5-Crosby-Ironton 526 points, 24 rank points, 6-Zumbrota-Mazeppa 518 points, 27 rank points.

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or Follow on Twitter at

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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