High school sports

Hermon edges Medomak Valley for state Class B cheering crown

State runner-up Panthers strut their stuff at Bangor Auditorium
By Mark Haskell | Feb 11, 2013
Photo by: Mark Haskell Medomak Valley cheerleaders, including Cassie Dever, right, react after turning in a strong performance at the state Class B championship competition Monday night, Feb. 11 at the Bangor Auditorium. The Panthers finished second to Hermon.

Bangor — Floor officials tightened the mats every few routines during the state high school cheering championships Monday night, Feb. 11 at the Bangor Auditorium.

With that in mind, it was hard to find a tighter routine in Class B than Medomak Valley's with the Panthers in search of their first state title.

However, while the Panthers routine may have been perfect, defending state Class B champion Hermon was flawless as well — with a higher degree of difficulty — as the Hawks soared to their third straight state crown and fourth in five years.

Medomak Valley earned a second-place finish — the team's best finish in the state competition.

Hermon racked up 155 total points to win the title, while Medomak Valley scored 148.1 — a mere 1.3 points higher than third-place Ellsworth.

The Panthers, Hawks and Eagles now have finished among the top three in the state Class B competition the past three years.

Click for more photos from the state cheering competition.

Medomak Valley had to wait an extra two days in its quest to sweep postseason competitions, which the Panthers hoped would include winning its first state Class B championship.

So, after the weekend's blizzard Nemo buried the state with snow and postponed the original state championship meet, the Panthers took the floor late Monday night at the "The Mecca" to strut their stuff.

And, after winning the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference and Western Class B championships, its third regional crown, at the end of January, the Panthers were among the favorites to bring home the state crown Monday.

But, in the end, the Hawks flew a little higher.

"It's better than third [place]," said Panther coach Rachel Coor, a position the Panthers finished in the past two years prior to Monday night. "The kids executed perfectly. They did everything that we asked them to do. I'm super proud of them and they have a lot to be proud of themselves."

"We hit a flawless routine," said senior Kelsie Grady. "It was amazing. We've never done that good throughout the season and in our past few years at the states we've never done this good. And I know that we should be proud of what we did.

"We hit everything. There's nothing else we could have done. We couldn't have done any better and I'm proud of my team."

Coor agreed, saying there was "nothing" her team could have done better in an attempt to match the Hawks' score, short of hoping for a handful of deductions, which Hermon is not prone to doing.

"I thought they were excellent," Coor said Hermon. "They're very technically difficult, they executed perfectly, they have a lot of talent [and] they're well-coached [by Kristie Reed]. Hats off to them. Year after year they do a very, very good job and today was no exception."

The state competition was scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 9, but was postponed due to inclement weather.

The final state Class B team scores included: Hermon 155, Medomak Valley 148.1, Ellsworth 146.8, Caribou 130.2, John Bapst of Bangor 128.3, Wells 122.5, Presque Isle 119.1, Gardiner 116.4, Poland 110.9, Leavitt of Turner 107.1, Morse of Bath 106.3 and Old Town 99.8.

Old Town was assessed a 10-point deduction and Leavitt and Wells both five-point deductions.

The top six teams from each region moved onto that state competition.

In the earlier regional meets, Medomak Valley won Western Class B with a score of 131.4 and Ellsworth captured Eastern Class B at 142.2. Hermon (138.8), Caribou (134.3) and Presque Isle (134.3) also had comparable scores to the Panthers from the Eastern regional.

Team members for Medomak Valley include Grady, Jessica Prescott, Charlene Wilbur, Lyndsey Miller, Shania Melvin, Alyssa Ducharme, Olivia Ryan, Molly Clevette, Ashlee Wilson, Paige Russell, Cassidy Dever, Stephanie Hill, Amanda Poland, Katie Goldrup, Megan Linscott and Gabby Ruano. The squad is coached by Coor and Heather Simmons.

Medomak Valley qualified for the New England High School Cheering Championships on Friday, March 15 at Lawrence High School in Lawrence, Mass., but coach Coor said the Panthers would not attend that competition.

All four classes competed for state titles Monday night, making for a late night for cheerleaders, coaches, parents and spectators.

Lewiston won its third straight state Class A championship with Marshwood of Eliot earning runner-up honors, while Dexter won its first state championship in Class C with Sumner of East Sullivan second.

Deer Isle-Stonington dethroned five-time defending state Class D championship Central Aroostook with its first state crown since 1988, with the Panthers earned runner-up honors.

Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at sports@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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