by Dennis Dalman
After a state win in 2011 and then after three years of nearly reaching the top, the Sartell Sabre dance team did it again, dancing their way to another class AA state championship in the high-kick category.
It happened Saturday evening at Target Center in Minneapolis. The team members burst into ear-splitting shrieks of joy, and spectators burst into thunderous applause when the judges announced their decision.
St. Cloud Cathedral placed second in high-kick, and Totino-Grace took third place. That team is the one that took first in high-kick last year, leaving the Sartell Sabres in second place. The Sabres were high-kick champs in 2011, then for the next three years they earned second-place until Saturday when their dancing wowed the judges again.
The day before, Friday, Feb. 13, the Sabres were named fourth in the jazz competition at Target Center. The champ was Benilde-St. Margaret of St. Louis Park, followed by Totino-Grace and St. Cloud Cathedral. Cold Spring Rocori was fifth.
The Sabres entered state competition on a winning streak, having won tops three weeks ago for high-kick at the Section 4, Class AA meet in Sauk Rapids. At that same meet, Cathedral took second-place honors for high-kick but took the top prize in the jazz division, for which Sartell took second place.
The Sabres are led by head coach Kelly McCarney and assistant coaches Molly Carey and Kelsey Keller. Its team captains are Miranda Garman and Katlyn Ramseth, both of them named to the All-Tournament Team.
The top three winners of the two dance-meet competitions at Target Center were:
Jazz: Class A: Duluth (Marshall High School), Aitken, Yellow Medicine East; Class AA: Benilde-St. Margaret’s (St. Louis Park), Totino-Grace, St. Cloud Cathedral; and Class AAA: Maple Grove, Eastview, Wayzata.
High Kick: Class A: Aitkin, Yellow Medicine East, Crosby-Ironton; Class AA: Sartell-St. Stephen, St. Cloud Cathedral, Totino-Grace; and Class AAA: Faribault, Wayzata, Eastview. (The Wayzata and Eastview awards were not presented because those two teams joined a protest with three other dance teams against Faribault. See related story.)