Hazen drill team comes up big at state championship

April 5, 2012

By Christina Lords

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The Hazen High School drill team was able to bring home a little hardware from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s Dance and Drill State Championships after taking first place in several categories at the March 24 event.

The team placed first in 3A military, first in 3A pom and fourth in 2A/3A kick categories.

Hazen beat Decatur and Shorewood high schools for first-place in military, and Shorewood and Capitol for first in pom.

Liberty High School placed sixth in the 3A military category.

Hazen coach Kristin Sargent, in her fifth season of leading the squad, said the team’s success is the result of hours of practice, sweat, tears and sisterhood.

“Being a Hazen Driller is being part of a family,” she said.

The team — consisting of 29 girls that include sophomores, juniors and seniors — compete in three separate categories: military, pom and kick.

Senior captains Elaine Chow, Kelsey Chen and Kristi Kajita lead the team. Lieutenants for the team include senior Dakotah Kidd and juniors Lydia Sim and Newin Pales.

“Our team practices 10 months a year, starting in late spring until the state finals in March,” Sargent said. “The girls begin practice in May to begin training, increase flexibility and learn to work together as one team, instead of 29 individuals. We start the year off running — starting practices in order to prepare for their summer camp competition.”

The team also participates in community parades, football games, basketball games, community and charity events, and Hazen pep assemblies throughout the year.

“They are amazingly dedicated to their teammates and to this program,” Sargent said.

The team competes at area competitions beginning in November, trying to earn a district qualifying score for each of the three routines.

The Highlanders completed and earned a state-qualifying score for each of the three categories at the District 3 Competition on March 10.

The team practices as much as four to five days a week throughout the year — all the while the members maintain a 2.5 grade point average.

“Working with these young women is inspiring, especially when I get to see them be so passionate about something they love,” Sargent said.

Members of the team from Newcastle include senior and captain Kajita, junior and lieutenant Sim, junior Uugii Munkhdelger, sophomore Michelle Tsuboi and sophomore Kelsey Chin.

Tryouts for the 2012-13 drill team begin at the end of April and are open to upcoming sophomores through seniors. Those interested can check out the Hazen Drill Team Facebook page, or the team’s website at www.hazendrillteam.shutter-   fly.com.

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