MINNEAPOLIS – Before Saturday’s state Class 2A high kick finals, the coaches for Sartell started to wipe away tears talking about their team.
Before even knowing how things would turn out, they already were missing what they knew to be a very special team.
Saturday night at Target Center, the judges agreed.
Sartell won the state Class 2A high kick/precision championship. St. Cloud Cathedral took second.
It was another outstanding one-two punch for area teams, which outdid Friday’s showcase performances in jazz.
“We were all confident, knew what we needed to do,” Sartell senior captain Miranda Garman said.
Garman shed her own tears of joy with fellow captain Katlyn Ramseth, who also was overcome with emotion.
“It’s such an honor to be competing against so much high-caliber competition,” said Paige Seegers, who earned all-tournament team honors with teammate Jessica Meichsner.
It’s the first state title for the Sabres since 2011, when they also won high kick. They’ve taken second each of the last three years, just missing last year when Totino-Grace won. The E’Gals took third Saturday.
“We knew when we started this season that we had something special,” Sartell head coach Kelly McCarney said of why she and assistants Kelsey Keller and Molly Carey were so emotional. “We knew we had that something special to create the vision we needed to do this.”
The squad practiced late Friday in a banquet hall at its hotel. The performers said it was crowded and sweaty, but helped them focus.
“It was the combination of the talent and hard workers we knew we had,” Keller said.
“This team had it,” McCarney said.
Cathedral also wrapped up a nice two days. After taking third in jazz, the Crusaderettes were second in high kick.
“We’re pretty excited,” Cathedral head coach Molly Kenzy said. “Only two teams medaled in double-A both days and we were one of them.”
Sartell-St. Stephen’s dancers celebrate placing first in the State Girls’ Class 2A Dance Team Tournament in the high kick division finals Saturday, February 14 at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
Totino-Grace was the other. Sauk Rapids took seventh, just missing the finals. The top six advance.
“We had a phenomenal performance,” Sauk Rapids head coach Sandy House said. “And they’re all back next year.
“We didn’t have a single senior out there.”
Faribault won the Class 3A title, though other teams staged a protest on the floor, apparently claiming the Emeralds’ routine was not original. Wayzata took second and Eastview was third.
St. Cloud Tech took eighth and did not qualify for the finals. That didn’t dampen Tigerettes head coach Sue Arnold’s enthusiasm for her team’s performance.
“They danced awesome,” Arnold said. “They danced the best that they could.
“We have no regrets.”
Cathedral’s Morgan Peterson and Taylor Hughs took home Class 2A all-tournament honors in high kick.
Kenzy said the difference between last year and this year was the team’s ability to focus better on its high goals. The Crusaderettes and Sabres both do routines with high levels of difficulty.
Obviously, the judges noticed.
“Our girls really stepped it up,” Kenzy said.
The day also highlighted Central Minnesota’s excellence in the sport. On Friday, Cathedral was third, Sartell was fourth and Rocori took fifth in jazz. All three are from the same Section 4-2A. Tech, meanwhile, advanced to the jazz finals in Class 3A.
On Saturday, Section 4-2A finished first, second and seventh in high kick.
“Our section is intense,” Kenzy said. “Sauk Rapids did really outstanding. Sartell had a great showing.
“It definitely shows what the strength of dance is in Central Minnesota.”
Class A high kick final results – 1. Aitkin (5 points); 2. Yellow Medicine East; 3. Crosby-Ironton; 4. Montevideo; 5. BOLD; 6. Pact Charter School.
Class 2A high kick final results – 1. Sartell (7.5); 2. St. Cloud Cathedral (12); 3. Totino-Grace (13); 4. Benilde-St. Margaret’s; 5. Austin; 6. Cannon Falls; 7. Sauk Rapids; 8. Mound-Westonka.
Class 3A high kick final results – 1. Faribault; 2. Wayzata; 3. Eastview (Apple Valley); 4. Chaska; 5. Lakeville South; 6. Eden Prairie; 7. Brainerd; 8. St. Cloud Tech.
Follow Tom Elliott on Twitter @sctimestom or call 259-3661.