Hazen drill team wins third state championship in a row
April 3, 2014
By Christina Corrales-Toy
If Kristin Sargent’s career as the head coach of the Hazen drill team was written as a book, it would have the perfect fairy tale ending.
The preface would note that her Hazen roots run deep. She was a member of the Liberty High School drill team before coming to Hazen, where she was the drill team captain in 1999.
The body of the story would detail her seven years as the Hazen drill coach, a golden era of sorts, as she led the Highlanders to several state titles.
The best part would be the ending, though, as Sargent’s team captured its third consecutive state title, in the same year she announced it would be her last.
That’s what happened March 29 as the Hazen drill team added to its overflowing trophy case with another great showing at the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s Dance and Drill State Championships in the Yakima SunDome.
The Highlanders took first in 3A pom with a score of 252.3.
“I told the girls, leaving with them is the exclamation point at the end of this job because it’s just been a great team,” Sargent said.
This year’s team was disciplined and hardworking, Sargent said. Drill is a huge time commitment. The girls practice for nearly 10 months of the year, rarely stopping for holidays, vacations or school breaks.
Academics are important to the squad. The drill team is held to a higher grade point average standard than other sports teams, Sargent said.
For the first time since Sargent had been at Hazen, a Hazen drill team member won a special WIAA academic scholarship at this year’s state event. Christine Ta, a senior, came away with the award.
“That was so special,” Sargent said. “She worked so hard and she’s an amazing student.”
Ta wasn’t the only Hazen driller to receive an individual honor at the state championship. Hazen senior Josie Fenske placed in the top six in the individual drill down competition that attracts hundreds of participants.
“There are about 400 or 500 kids on that floor, and Josie was one of the best out there,” Sargent said. “She’s always been really strong, but this is the farthest she’s ever made it.”
Sargent is now stepping away from the sport to take time to be with her kids. She doesn’t plan to stay away completely from the team, but she no longer has time for the commitment drill requires.
Her departure made her third consecutive year winning a state title a little bittersweet, she said, but she was glad to leave on a high note.
“It’s going to be OK. I’ll still be around, but this definitely feels like it’s the exact way I would want to go out,” she said.