Packer dance team wins high kick, takes second at Big Nine meet

Published 10:03 pm Sunday, January 20, 2013

McKenzie Besel raises her arms in celebration after the Packer dance team found out it beat Faribault in the kick division at the Big Nine meet in Rochester Saturday. It was the first time Austin beat the Falcons outright in kick in 11 years. -- Photo Provided by Rhonda Besel

ROCHESTER — The Austin Packer dance team finished second at the Big Nine meet in Rochester Saturday. However, it had plenty to celebrate about as the Packers beat Big Nine champion Faribault outright in the high kick division for the first time in 11 years.

Taryn Sims, left, and Taylor Osmundson perform for the Austin Packer Dance Team at the Big Nine meet in Rochester Saturday. -- Photo Provided by Rhonda Besel

“It was truly a milestone in Packer team history,” Austin head coach Jens Sims said.

The Packers were hoping to add their second straight and fourth total Big Nine title, but they took second in jazz and the Falcons took the title by two rank points.

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“Though it was a tough loss, we were thrilled to reach a milestone of winning a kick competition against Faribault, a powerhouse in Minnesota dance team in the kick division,” Sims said. “We had two strong performances, not perfect, but definitely some of our best. Less than perfect always leaves the window open to be beaten by Faribault.”

Austin placed McKenzie Besel, Taylor Osmundson and Taryn Sims on the All-Big Nine team and Jasmin Hultgren, Mollie Mickelson and Brianna Byam were honorable mention.

“Big Nine is always exciting,” Sims said. “We have one opportunity to show how well we can compete against a field of excellent dance teams in the Big Nine.”Austin will now prepare for the Section 1A meet, which will be held at Faribault Saturday, Feb. 9.

The Packers are looking to earn their 11th straight trip to state.

Brianna Byam, left and Madeline Rohr perform for the Packer dance team during the Big Nine meet in Rochester Saturday. -- Photo Provided by Rhonda Besel