The 2019 UCA & UDA Mile High Championship is an early-season test for many of the top dance teams in Colorado. The state is known for its incredible school dance programs, boasting top finishes at the National Dance Team Championship year after year from a wide-ranging list of programs.
Today, the Medium Varsity Pom division had an impressive lineup of former state champions and reigning national finalists. With a full season still ahead, these powerhouse programs came to see where they measure up as they look towards local and national competitions in the coming months.
This competition looked to be an exciting clash of some of the best Pom teams around… and the performances did not disappoint.
Varsity TV caught up with Chaparral head coach, Peggy Pollock, who emphasized the importance of starting the season off on a strong foot for her girls in their debut competition for the year.
She remarked, “I think for us, it’s about getting the jitters out, as well as laying down a base foundation for the season”. Knowing that they were up against some of their toughest rivals, she kept it real with the team, reminding them that they have to earn their place to belong.
“It’s intense in this division, so we know that we have to not hold back and just go for it”.
A few mistakes kept Chaparral from factoring in at this event, but they will be one to watch for in the coming months.
[WATCH] Chaparral High School
Thunder Ridge High School came out with a strong showing, showcasing difficult leaps and a performance quality that was difficult for anyone else to match. The Grizzlies took home third place today. They exuded a joy that you can’t coach, and it amplified their performance to another level. After placing 3rd in the Medium Varsity Pom division at NDTC in 2019, they’ll be a favorite to improve throughout the season and be a contender once again.
Setting the pace early in the division order, Grandview High School demonstrated a steady consistency that sets them apart from the other performances. 7th at Nationals in 2019, and always near the top each season, they showed that they are out for another year of excellence.
Their routine was a constant energy machine that didn’t slow down for a second. Always clean and confident, the Wolves played to their strengths and delivered a routine that left little doubt that they would be at the top. Grandview's energetic routine earned them second place in Denver.
[WATCH] Grandview High School
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, head coach, Megan Mehl, told us, “Because this event and the other teams are so strong and competitive, this is where we can see where we can strive to grow our own strengths and use the feedback towards our nationals routine”. They started the season off with a bang, and there is no question they will be a major threat all year.
There were many excellent performances in this division, but the one that stood out among the rest was Rock Canyon High School.
Rock Canyon earned the victory in Medium Varsity Pom with a flawless routine highlighted by an opening turn sequence that left us dizzy and with our jaws on the floor.
The Jaguars have been near or at the top many times, but this win was achieved from a different angle of preparation. Rather than going for endless repetitions, head coach Christina Leone has taken to a methodical approach, including a new season timeline, and lots of video study.
“We put our physical training on the front end of the season so that we could learn our routine later in the year and be able to plug in the necessary skills right away,” Leone explained.
To avoid routine burnout, they brought in choreographer John Peters later, and it is paying off so far. They had one of the most exciting and polished routines of the day, which is a testament to the preparation put in before they received their choreography. They were the standout team of the day, and they put the rest of the teams on notice that the bar has been set at a very high level.
[WATCH] Rock Canyon's Winning Varsity Pom Routine
To be the best, you have to beat the best. This has never been truer than in this division at the 2019 UCA & UDA Mile High Championship. All of the teams in the Medium Varsity Pom division threw down, and they laid the foundation for some fascinating battles to unfold as the season progresses. More than that, they have pushed each other to greatness, and that will only help each of them climb higher in the national ranks in 2020.
We were hoping for an epic battle from this stacked division, and it turned out to be all of that and more. Congratulations to all of the competitors on a job well done!
Stay tuned to Varsity TV for more competition action from the 2019 UCA & UDA Mile High Championship in Denver, Colorado.
Written By: Thomas Parrott
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