Varsity Poms Rack Up Accomplishments

Varsity Poms Rack Up Accomplishments

Delaney Hannan, Contributing Reporter

The 2018-2019 Linn-Mar Varsity Pom team consists of 18 well-rounded, hard-working and dedicated girls. While facing challenges different from any other year, this team has earned huge accomplishments and are now preparing for their biggest competition of the year in just less than one month.

Their season started a little different than most when their head coach, Jen Hammes, announced that she was having a baby.

Senior captain Brynn Carr said, “It’s so different to be under someone else’s coaching, having every practice run a little different than most of us are used to, but we are so thankful that Colbs stepped up in place of Jen to hopefully bring us to another winning season.”

Megan Colby, or Colbs as the girls call her, was the head coach of the JV team last year and got the opportunity to coach varsity when Jen had to step away.

Their first competition of the season was UDA Camp in the beginning of July where they spent four days downtown in Cedar Rapids at the Doubletree Hotel. During that short week, the girls learned two individual dances and one team dance and then competed and performed them on the last day. They received all blue ribbons for every dance, which qualified them for their most important competition, UDA Nationals.

Right after camp was the girl’s favorite time of the season, a three-week summer break! This is the only break the girls get during all 10 months of the season.

Third year returning junior on the team, Olivia Chapman said, “We all get super excited to go on summer break but three weeks kind of feels like three days and before we know it, we’re back at it on Monday morning.”

After a five month stretch of practice changing and cleaning both their dances, jazz and pop, the team was ready for their first big competition, state.

They left for Des Moines on November 29th at the end of the school day and spent the rest of the day eating dinner at their favorite place, Spaghetti Works, and practicing for the final time at the hotel before they were called on the floor.

The next morning, they were up at six getting ready and preparing themselves for competition. Junior Nina Taylor said, “It’s definitely not the biggest competition we go to, but it gets in our head the most because a lot of teams get ripped off since the judges just don’t want them to do well. It’s all about politics.”

Despite that, Linn-Mar came home with another state title in pom, and a 3rd place title in jazz. Knowing their jazz competitors were really good, and their jazz dance needs some work, the team was very happy with their placements and continued to say, “It’s only up from here.”

The team continued practicing and prepared themselves for their dreadful holiday break. Christmas came around and they had 4 days of relaxing and enjoying time with their families and friends before it was go time.

Starting December 27th, they had practice for 9 days in a row, including a Sunday and New Year’s Eve/Day. Their final practice was on Friday, January 4th in Minneapolis, Minnesota as they were preparing themselves for yet another competition the next day, UDA Spirit of America Regionals.

Senior captain Katie Frazier said, “Those 10 days of dancing were like nothing I’ve experienced while being on this team for the last four years. My body has never been so sore yet felt so good at the same time. But I knew every practice was going to pay off and it was all going to be so worth it.”

With the help of their old head coach and now assistant coach, they had fresh eyes and a new urge to make their dances the best they could be, and it payed off. They left Minneapolis with two regional titles.

Their final competition will be the first weekend in February at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida, where they hope to defend their name of 2nd place in the nation in medium pom.