Hoo-ray for Hazen

April 4, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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Drill team wins repeat state title

Contributed The Hazen High School drill team poses with its state championship trophies at the Yakima SunDome March 22. Hazen placed first in 3A pom and second in 3A military.

The Hazen High School drill team poses with its state championship trophies at the Yakima SunDome March 22. Hazen placed first in 3A pom and second in 3A military.

Hazen High School is home to a burgeoning dynasty, even if its leader, drill team coach Kristin Sargent, may be too humble to admit it.

That’s what it’s called when a team wins back-to-back state championships and has placed at the state competition every year since 2008.

The Hazen High School drill team added to its overflowing trophy case with an impressive showing at the March 22 Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s Dance and Drill State Championships in the Yakima SunDome.

The team placed first in 3A pom and second in 3A military, after taking first in both events last year.

“Getting a back-to-back win is not common, so it was very exciting for the team,” Sargent said.

Hazen’s military score was actually higher than last year’s, but the score was not enough to capture first this time.

“When you’re in a subjective sport like that, you can’t control how your competition scores,” Sargent said. “It was close and could have probably gone either way, but it went this way and we’re happy with it.”

After spending time competing in high school gymnasiums around the area, getting a chance to perform in the large Yakima SunDome is always a thrill for her girls, Sargent said.

“It’s like a beehive in there, and everybody’s just walking around, so when the girls first walk in, you can see their eyes just get big,” she said. “It’s a magical thing, and the WIAA does an amazing job of making this event special for the girls.”

It is not easy to so consistently excel at the state competition, Sargent said. The team’s 26 girls practice for about 10 months of the year, rarely stopping for holidays, vacations or school breaks.

“It’s a huge time commitment, but it’s worth it,” she said. “You can definitely see the results.”

The team practices four days a week for about two hours. Members must maintain a 2.5 grade point average, higher than the usual 2.0 sports standard.

“It’s a lot of work, but it doesn’t take long for the girls to catch the fever of what it means to be a Hazen driller and what that expectation entails,” Sargent said.

Sargent knows firsthand what it takes to don the Highlanders’ colors, having done so as a Hazen student herself. She was a member of the Liberty High School drill team before coming to Hazen, where she was the drill team captain in 1999.

“I’m grateful that I was able to be at both schools. I learned a lot at Liberty,” she said. “To come back to Hazen, though, it felt so comfortable. I came in and I can’t leave. It’s so rewarding and it’s so much fun.”

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

Captains Lydia Sim, Newin Pales, Quynh Nhu Tran and Valerie Tran lead the team. Lieutenants for the team are Christine Ta, Errin Williams and Michelle Tsuboi.

Members of the team from Newcastle are Kelsey Chin, Uugii Munkhdelger, Sim and Tsuboi.


On the Web

Learn more about the Hazen High School drill team at www.hazendrillteam.shutterfly.com.

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