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Amazing performances by Lake Forest and Warren in tuneup for IHSA sectional

Mundele Sunday  1/6/13   

VernHills' sophmore KirLauman performs with school's varsity dance team during Sunday's IHSA Dance Invitational

Mundelein Sunday, 1/6/13 Vernon Hills' sophmore, Kira Lauman performs with the school's varsity dance team during Sunday's IHSA Dance Invitational hosted by Mundelein High School. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media

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Team Score

1) Warren 96.7

2) Libertyville 2 83.9

3) Mundelein 80.0

5) Libertyville 1 75.4

12) Mundelein 1 54.4

15) Zion-Benton 30.6


Team Score

1) Lake Forest 2 94.6

2) Lake Forest 1 89.0

3) CL Central 84.9

4) Vernon Hills 2 76.9

5) Grant 76.2

6) Lakes 2 71.4

7) Deerfield 69.9

8) Carmel 67.3

9) Vernon Hills 1 63.3

12) Lakes 1 54.5

13) Antioch 53.4

(Note: Some schools performed two routines with the same squad members. That is why there is a “1” and “2” after some team names).

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Updated: March 10, 2013 3:28AM

The poms/dance teams at Warren and Lake Forest high schools put on a show for the fans on hand Sunday for the Mundelein Invitational poms/dance competition.

The Blue Devils and Scouts were superior-plus at the event, posting huge scores and winning their respective divisisons (Warren is a big school and Lake Forest is a smaller school) by ridiculous margins.

This is the first year that poms/dance is an IHSA-sanctioned sport — it used to be run by Team Dance Illinois — and the Mundelein event served as a quality tuneup for the IHSA sectional meet, which will be held in two weeks at Grayslake North High School.

It also marked the first time in recent memory that Lake Forest competed against local prep squads.

The Scouts are a powerhouse inthe sport and are recognized on the national stage.

Sunday’s meet was a warmup for a national competition in Orlando later this month that will be televised on ESPN.

“We’re every excited. We’re heading to nationals soon, so this was excellent preparation for us,” said Lake Forest coach Nikki Lazzaretto. “This is our first time competing against local schools in close to 10 years. We normally compete on a national circuit.

“The school likes to recognize IHSA state competitions, so now that this is an IHSA sport, we’re getting back into competing against local schools.”

On Sunday, Lake Forest performed a poms routine and a jazz routine. The poms routine was perfectly synchronized and was easily the best in the division. The Scouts’ jazz routine was second-best.

In the big-school division, Warren was ridiculous, scoring the best of any school in the competition regardless of division. The team is must-see and is doing things no other squad is doing.

It was the fourth win in five meets this year for the Blue Devils.

“This year, the challenge was taking on the IHSA. We started the year with the mentality of taking on that challenge, and the girls have worked very hard to get to this point,” said Warren coach Sarah Stepek.

Warren does a hip-hop style routine, which is scored against jazz and poms, and open dance, etc.

“We didn’t know how a hip-hop team was going to compare with some of the other styles,” Stepek said. “We were determined to work with the same work ethic we always have and keep a positive attitude.”
Warren’s routine, when they’re on as they were on Sunday, would draw rave revues at an NBA game.

It’s that good.

“It (the winning) is motivating for sure,” Stepek said. “I don’t know if it makes it easier. There still is always some nervousness.

“I do think it’s been rewarding for the girls to have the success they’ve had.”

Also performing well on Sunday were Libertyville and Mundelein. Both teams had their best results of the year, and finished second (Libertyville) and third (Mundelein) among the big schools.

“I’m so proud of the girls. They’re an awesome group,” said Libertyville coach Jackie Newman. “They asked me to schedule addition practices to work on our routines. They work so hard. We’ve probably placed in the top half or third in our competitions, but we’ve really done a lot to improve our choreography.”

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