The Austin Packer dance team celebrates after earning it's 11th straight trip to the state dance meet. -- Photo Provided by Rhonda Besel

Packer dance team clinches 11th straight trip to state

Published 11:23am Sunday, February 10, 2013
Taylor Osmundson performs for the Austin Packer dance team at the Section 1AA meet in Faribault Saturday. -- Photo Provided by Rhonda Besel

FARIBAULT – The streak continues.

The Austin Packer dance team made it 11 straight trips to state dance meet when it took third in high kick at the Section 1AA meet in Faribault Saturday.

Section 1AA was loaded with tough teams including Chaska, which won the high kick, Faribault, which took second in high kick, Benilde St. Margaret’s, Academy of Holy Angels, Simley and South St. Paul.

The Packers were coming off their first ever win over Faribault in high kick at the Big Nine meet the previous weekend, but this time the Falcons edged them out.

“We danced very well at sections, but there were a couple of things that could have been better,” Austin head coach Jen Sims said. “I always feel that if you give the judges a reason to take points away from you, they will. Faribault came out strong, as we knew they would, and they beat us by one rank point to take second behind last year’s state champion, Chaska.”

In jazz, Austin took fifth while Chaska, Benilde St. Margaret’s and Simley all advanced to state.

“Jazz takes a lot of outside ballet and jazz training, which many of our girls have, but not all,” Sims said. “The girls have come a long way with the time we have given them for jazz. We are very proud of them.”

Austin will now compete in the Class ‘AA’ state preliminaries at Target Center in Minneapolis Saturday at 2 p.m. The Packers must place in the top six out of 12 teams to advance to the finals, which take place at 7:15 p.m. Saturday.

The Austin Packer Dance Team performs at the Section 1AA Dance Meet Saturday in Mankato. -- Photo Provided by Faribault Daily News

Sims said her squad is not taking this trip to state for granted; they’d like to be in the finals and finish in the top three.

“We have not been in medal range for several years,” she said. “We are going to do our best to get back there.”

With the routine they have this year, the Packers have a good chance to make some noise at state.

“This dance is something special,” Sims said. “It has really evolved over the season and we believe we can do well with it at the state level. If the girls execute the dance the way we know they can in prelims, we believe they have a great chance to be state finalists. From there if we do our best, and that’s all we can ask of our girls, the rest is in the judges hands.”

From left: Jasmin Hultgren and Madaline Rohr peform for the Austin Packer dance team at the Section 1AA meet in Faribault Saturday. -- Photo Provided by Rhonda Besel


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