11 Windsor Students Part of National Championship Team

The Southern Tier Starlites, a team featuring 11 Windsor students, won the 2018 Pom Dance US Finals Championship Saturday, May 5 in Providence, RI.

The 11 Windsor students on the 14-member squad are Lizzie Hopkins, Samantha Reed, Rachel Shirvan, Amariah Argro, Brionna Marble, Alison Drankosky, Grace Latini, Andrea Medovich, Alexia Barns, Kirsten Benedict and Makenzi Rodgers.

“They are a team that’s been together for three years. They’re hard working. They’ve built a bond. When they go out there, they bring it,” said team coach Katie Legg. 
Two rows of female students in team jackets posing for picture 

“We worked together. We wanted to have the best performance of the season,” said Benedict. “A lot of us have been together for a long time. We’ve all become friends. There’s a chemistry.”

On their way to the US Finals Championship, the Starlites won the Grand Championship at a tournament in Buffalo, then took first place at a competition in Albany. That’s where the team earned the invitation to the US Finals Championship in Providence.

“When I went it really wasn’t about winning it. It was about being there. Winning was a big surprise,” said Benedict. 

The pleasant surprises have continued. Four days after winning in Providence, the team learned it has qualified for what’s called the Champions Challenge. There were US Finals in seven locations. All teams had their routines recorded on video. Judges reviewed the videos from the seven winners, including the Starlites, and have deemed the team to be among the best of the best. They will announce the best performance on May 23.

“I won’t be disappointed if we don’t win because I know we did our best,” said Benedict. “But it would be amazing if we did.”

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