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South Valley Journal

Mestenas place third in state

Mar 28, 2017 03:30PM ● By Greg James

The Herriman High School drill team started this season with a fundraiser in the rodeo grounds and finished holding a third- place state trophy. (Alexi Anderson/Herriman drill)

By Greg James |  [email protected]    

The Herriman High School drill team, the Mestenas, finished its season near the top of the 5A state drill competition. The team’s best routine highlighted by flying monkeys captured the excitement of its fans.

“Ultimately, we strive every year to win the state title, but at the end of the day we gave it our all, and we feel happy and confident with what we put on the floor,” Mestena captain Alexi Anderson said. “We are also happy for all of the other teams that placed and competed. We truly just want everyone to do their best.”

The Mestenas captured third place at the 5A state drill competition held Feb. 2-4 at Utah Valley University in Provo.

Their  kick routine finished second overall. Dressed in red jackets and silver tights, the girls performed several kick lines, including stand-alone kicks, hook-up and disconnected kicks, along with change-of-direction kicks. The spectators cheered as the completed each aspect of the dance.

“I definitely loved our flying monkey kick routine,” senior Rylee Hilton said. “Getting into character was easy once we had our makeup and ears on. When we pulled out our wings, the crowd just goes crazy, and it gave us so much energy. I love dancing. On the floor, I could feel the connection, and I love my team.”

They performed the flying monkey routine in Orlando, Florida, and won their division.

“It feels good to think we placed so well,” Anderson said. “There are several amazing teams in this state.”

The Mestenas placed third in military and fourth in dance. This is the second year in a row they have placed third behind Copper Hills and Bingham.

In Region 4 competition, Herriman placed second behind Pleasant Grove. The Mestenas avenged the results by finishing ahead of the Vikings at state.

“I did not start dancing until I was 9 years old, which is later than most girls,” Anderson said. “I have been part of the drill team for four years. I have loved hanging out with my team. We have performed at in school activities and competitions as well as halftime stuff.”

The Mestenas started the season with a unique fundraiser. They gathered money from friends, family and boosters all gambling on where the cows would poop in the Herriman rodeo grounds.

In 2017, state drill teams competed in dance, kick and military routines. The judges are given scoring sheets to look for aspects completed during the dance. Dance routines can score points for leaps, fouettes, and pirouettes. The military moves like arm movements, formations and patterns score points. In each scoring routine the majority of the team must complete the skill to score the point.

Anderson was team captain; Alanna Boroski was co-captain; and Katelin Graham, Kenna Brett, Sydney Halcom, Ally Neilson and Rylee Hilton were team officers.

Arial Larson coaches the Mestenas. She is a graduate of Hillcrest High School and has coached the team since its inception.