Local twirlers win gold at USA Twirling Championships

Left to right: Assistant Coach-Sarah Ewart, Reagan Berry, Madelynn Cleis, Rachel Rodriguez, Abbey Ruffell, Erica Barndt, America Troupe, Erica Barndt, Madysin Hewitt , Gabi Anaya and Director- Coach Becky Hewitt. The twirlers represent 9 different schools in the valley.

South Bend, Indiana was the sight of the 73rd Annual World Open Baton Twirling Championships. Thousands of baton twirlers gathered together this past month to compete in America’s Youth On Parade, baton twirling’s most prestigious event of the year. Twirlers from the USA as well as foreign countries competed in nine different solo events including: one-baton, two -baton, three -baton, duet, trio, hoop, flag, strut and show twirl. Team events are held in Dance Twirl and Twirl.

Arizona was well represented by nine young ladies ages 10-18 called the Phoenix Superstars, directed by Becky Hewitt of Phoenix for the past 42 years and assisted by Sarah Ewart of Gilbert. The twirlers spent many hours perfecting their routines this past year preparing for this event, and were well rewarded for their efforts by winning 40 medals and 5 Team Plaques placing them in the top ten of the country including their awesome first place National Team Title in the Large Junior Twirling Division. The Arizona Twirling Athlete non-profit youth organization will be offering beginning twirling instruction in four different school districts beginning in September. For more information email beckysbaton@cox.net or call 602-997-0522.

L to R. Reagan Berry-a Junior at Notre Dame, Rachel Rodriguez-a graduate of Cactus Shadow now attending the U of A, and Gabi Anaya a 7th grader at Sonoran Trails.