The Brainerd Warrior dance team took third place in kick in meets Saturday at Eastview High School and Lakeville.
"These are the toughest schools we will see all year," said head coach Cindy Clough. "I feel it is a reality check for our kids to go up against the big guns right away in the season. It makes us set our goals higher and realize how tough the competition is."
Results of the Eastview meet were: Eastview, first; Mounds View, second; Brainerd, third; Eden Prairie, fourth; St. Cloud Tech, fifth; Blaine, sixth; Rosemount, seventh; Champlin Park, eighth; and Anoka, ninth.
Clough said the Brainerd team was only .5 ranking points away from second place.
"We actually had more total points so we felt very good about being so close up there," she said. "The Mounds View dancers who edged us out were the team we edged out at state last year."
Results of the Lakeville meet were: Burnsville, first; Apple Valley, second; Brainerd, third; Lakeville North, fourth; Bloomington Kennedy, fifth; Centennial, sixth; Robbinsdale Armstrong, seventh; Henry Sibley, eighth; Andover, ninth; Coon Rapids, 10th; Irondale, 11th; and Prior Lake, 12th.
The Brainerd junior varsity team placed third at Eastview and fourth at Lakeville.
The team's next competition will be Jan. 7 in Blaine. The dance team also was invited to the Best of the Best by the University of Minnesota on Jan. 6.
"We are honored to be selected once again, but we are not sure we will participate because many of our team members are just getting back from the Outback Bowl performance on Jan. 4," said Clough.
Clough said this week the team will spend two days shopping and wrapping gifts for area needy families.
"This is an annual team activity we do," said Clough. "We get lists from Social Services. Our dancers donate their own money and we break into shopping teams. This is our Christmas party. We wrap the gifts, eat a holiday meal and enjoy giving back to our community."
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