Poms shines at counties competition

Caeden Babcock

More stories from Caeden Babcock

The Poms team celebrates after hearing they got first place for the county competition. They now have the potential to become D1 depending on their performance next season.

On Feb. 5, the Poms team danced their way to first place at the MCPS County Competition. This was their last competition of the season, resulting in their second first-place finish of the season, with two second-place finishes to their name as well.

“I am so happy that I got to be a part of this team for the last four years and am so proud of my teammates for overcoming everything we have in order to win counties,” senior captain Julia Beato said.

The Poms team had a 5-minute dance routine consisting of march in, lyrical, kick, pom and hip hop dance styles. Their winning dance routine was choreographed by coaches Kaleigh Ayton and Tanya Ang and practiced for 12 weeks by the team before finally performing.

“During competition season we practice five days a week for two hours a day. During the month we have competitions, it turns to six days a week. We also have to submit videos so that the coaches know we’re practicing at home; they give us individual corrections,” junior Emmy Tzeng said.

The Poms team’s hard work paid off, resulting in second place in their first competition at Northwest High School, second place in the following competition at Springbrook High School, first place at Seneca Valley High School and finally first place in counties hosted by Blair High School.

“We were the team to beat the entire season. Being able to experience a first-place win with my teammates at the biggest competition in the county was a dream come true; I couldn’t have asked for a better team to finish out my senior year,” senior team captain Olivia Cardoni said.

Winning counties usually leads to a regional competition; however, due to MCPS rules, this is the end of the road for the Poms team success.

“Usually, we would compete next in Orlando at a national competition, however, we are unable to because of MCPS,” Cardoni said.

The MCPS policy on sports team competitions restricts the Poms from going to Orlando. But regardless, the Poms team winning is still an amazing feat.

“The last time we were division champs was in 2016,” Cardoni said.

The Poms team now has a chance to potentially go Division 1 in the future if they place top three at counties again next year.

“I know for sure we have a huge chance at getting to D1 next year and that is so exciting! Even though I will have graduated, just being able to help us get there would be amazing,” junior Natalie Zaid said.