Packer dance team takes sixth at state

Published 8:50 pm Sunday, February 19, 2012

Karla Kubesh, from left, Katelyn Joseph and Jasmin Lee compete at the high kick competetion at the Class 'AA' state dance meet in Target Center in Minneapolis Saturday. -- Brendan Burnett-Kurie/Faribault Daily News

MINNEAPOLIS — The Austin Packer dance team wrapped up its season in style as they finished in sixth place in the high kick division at the Class ‘AA’ state dance meet in Target Center Saturday.

Austin's Laura Hansen competes for the Packer dance team at the state meet in Target Center in Minneapolis Saturday. -- Brendan Burnett-Kurie/Faribault Daily News

The Packers, who have competed in 10 straight state tournaments, finished on a high note as Austin head coach Jen Sims felt the team put up its best effort in the finals.

“The girls knew they had no reason to hold back and they danced their last dance of the season like a state finalist team should,” Sims said. “Their performance was excellent.”

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Chaska, which was a ‘AAA’ school last year, took the state title.

The Packers were hoping to improve on last season’s fifth place finish at state, but with Chaska and Faribault, which took fifth and was ‘AAA’ last year, moving down to Austin’s class, they knew it would be tough.

“We did our best and we are very proud to be in the company of such incredible teams,” Sims said. “This is something we’ve been working for all season and to see the girls achieve this goal is very satisfying as a coach.”

Sims credited her assistant coaches Wendy Fleimer, Marny Rohr and Jamie Coleman for all of the sacrifices they’ve made to help the squad this season.

“They are the best of the best,” Sims said. “We had a great season and couldn’t be prouder of our dancers or more thankful for their supportive families.”

Austin placed seniors Katelyn Joseph and Annissa Zynda on the all-tournament team, which was fitting, because Austin’s squad had voted for them for the all-state team the night before the state meet.

“We had outstanding seniors this year who were very dedicated and excellent leaders,” Sims said. “This is a very team- oriented group, so it was hard to choose just two (for all-state), but Katelyn and Annissa are definitely worthy of the honor.”

Austin's Katelyn Joseph and Anissa Zynda, bottom left corner, were selected to the All-Tournament team at the Class 'AA' state dance meet in Minneapolis Saturday. -- photo provided by Rhonda Besel