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Elite eight qualify for state

The LFHS dance team stretches during warm ups prior competing IHSA Competitive Dance sectionals Jan. 19. | Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media

The LFHS dance team stretches during warm ups prior to competing in the IHSA Competitive Dance sectionals on Jan. 19. | Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media

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1) Stevenson 97.53

2) Warren 96.40

3) Elgin Larkin 88.53

4) Jacobs 87.27

5) Libertyville 85.07

6) Mundelein 84.80


1) Lake Forest 94.00

2) Vernon Hills 88.53

3) CL Central 88.43

4) Lakes 83.53

5) Grayslake N. 81,37

6) CL South 77.97

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Updated: February 22, 2013 6:21AM

If the people at Stevenson are thinking — and, in all honesty, the people at Stevenson are always thinking — the Patriots will invite Warren High School’s dance team to perform before or after the Patriots’ squad performs at halftime of Tuesday’s boys basketball game between host Stevenson and Warren.

That would give local fans a chance to see the state’s two best dance squads perform back-to-back, which would be worth the price of admission in itself.

Dancing with stars?

The Stevenson and Warren teams — along with Lake Forest — are stars.

Vote them in.

Stevenson and Warren finished 1-2 in the big-school division and Lake Forest dominated the smaller-school division at Saturday’s inaugural IHSA-sanctioned sectional poms/dance competition at Grayslake North High School.

The top six finishers in each division qualified for this weekend’s state meet in Bloomington.

Which means Vernon Hills, Lakes, Grayslake North, Libertyville and Mundelein also will be making the drive down I-55.

But when the teams make the drive back up I-55, figure on Lake Forest returning with the championship trophy in one bus, and Stevenson and Warren returnign with championship or second-place trophies in their buses.

In other words, the best poms/dance teams in the entire state compete for schools in Lake County.

Here’s a look at how the Grayslake North Sectional went down:

■ In Class 2A (smaller schools), there were 16 teams. Seven teams used poms and four did a hip-hop dance.

■ In Class 3A (big schools), there were 15 teams. Five teams did lyrical dances, four did hip hop and two used poms.

■ The three highest sectional scores in the entire state were posted by Stevenson, Warren and Lake Forest.

■ Seven teams that failed to qualify for state in 2A or 3A from Grayslake would have qualified for state with their scores had they competed ANYWHERE else on Saturday (including Antioch in 2A and Lake Zurich in 3A).

■ Seventeen of the 19 teams that failed to qualify in 2A or 3A from Grayslake would have qualified for state with their scores in at least one other sectional.

■ Lake Forest coach Nikki Lazzaretto: “I think the girls did well. It was an early hour, so they were maybe a little more tired than they normally are, but it was still a good performance.”

Despite the early hour, Lake Forest was razor sharp with a high-energy, impressively synchronized poms routine.

■ Vernon Hills coach Beth Richards: “We’re really excited to be part of, not only the first sectional, but now state. That was really our goal today, to make it to the state series.”

■ Lakes coach Tiffany Chilcote: “It’s so exciting. The girls have been working so hard.”

Lakes was a TDI champion in Kick last year, and the strength of its kick-specific elements helped it stand out among other solid routines.

■ Grayslake North coach Sarah Georgia: “We’re obviously really excited. They did a fantastic job. They gave one of their best performances of the year.”

Grayslake North, another regular on the podium at TDI state competitions in past years, performed a poms routine memorable for its creativity and choreography.

■ Warren coach Sarah Stepek: “This was one of their best performances of the year, and they’re all very happy with it.”

With the way Warren has performed this year, only a disaster can prevent it from taking home a first- or second-place trophy at state. Can it find the energy and execution needed to beat Stevenson?

A third or more of the spectators for the 3A session were Warren fans and gave the Devilettes the loudest cheer of the day at the end of their routine.

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