Linn-Mar pom team makes Iowa history

HS journalism: Lions finish second in nation in Orlando

The Linn-Mar varsity pom team celebrates its runner-up finish at the National Dance Team Championships in Orlando, Fla. (Kim Frazier/community contributor)
The Linn-Mar varsity pom team celebrates its runner-up finish at the National Dance Team Championships in Orlando, Fla. (Kim Frazier/community contributor)

Linn-Mar senior Kennedy Hannan summed it up best.

“I’d say that’s one heck of a way for us seniors to go out,” she wrote after the Linn-Mar varsity pom team placed second in the nation at the 2018 National Dance Team Championships at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.

The Lions competition season started with three state titles — in pom, jazz and contemporary — and they also received the “Judges Choice Award.” At regionals, Linn-Mar continued to roll with firsts in pom and jazz.

The runner-up finish in the “medium varsity poms finals” in Orlando is believed to be the highest an Iowa team has ever placed. The Lions also were fifth in the jazz finals.

Other seniors on the team are Madison Bradley, Lorissa Hickson, Kelly Johnson and Emily Pistulka. Juniors Brynn Carr, Katie Frazier, Maddie Kerr and Myah Schilling are joined by sophomores Rylie Bradley, Olivia Chapman, Delaney Hannan, Elle Magnussen, Delani Myers, Mady Sevareid and Nina Taylor, and freshman Sarah Liang.

Jen Hammes is the head coach and assisted by Sami Herrera and Suzanne Johnson.

The senior members of the team shared their thoughts on the nationals and season:

MADSON BRADLEY

We are incredibly lucky this year to have a team of such dedicated, hard working and humble girls.

All of us have put in so many hours and sacrificed so much for this team. We were so excited to show the nation how far we’d come. We never imagined we could place so well and make Iowa history.

It was a surreal experience and I feel so blessed to have been part of it.

KENNEDY HANNAN

My four years as a Linn-Mar Varsity Pom will be years I will cherish for the rest of my life.

I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with the most humble, yet determined girls I’ve ever met along with three coaches who would do anything for their girls.

But my senior year was something so special only people on the team were able to experience.

We had an undefeated season up until nationals, which is where we made Iowa history with our pom dance, placing second in the nation. I’d say that’s one heck of a way for us seniors to go out.

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Ending this chapter of my life makes me so sad because it is such a huge part of me. But I am sure the legacy of Linn-Mar Poms will continue for a very long time.

LORISSA HICKSON

Poms not only helped me grow as a dancer, but as a person.

Time management, organization, leadership skills, prioritizing and responsibility are some of the skills I gained. This program is led by such hard working coaches who all of us girls look up to. The other seniors and I made goals to work hard as a team, stay positive and motivated.

I am so thankful for my 16 amazing best friends, making memories and making Iowa history.

KELLY JOHNSON

Poms is an unforgettable experience that consists of a lot of hard work, sweat and tears that always seems to pay off.

It’s kind of hard to understand unless you are on the team, which is why we are all such close friends. It’s crazy how much work this team puts in just to dance on the nationals floor for two short minutes.

The feeling while dancing is indescribable. It’s amazing, to say the least. I know many of the seniors and I are wishing for those two minutes back on the nationals floor. Placing second in the nation was a dream come true, and I’ll never forget this special team and all the memories shared.

EMILY PISTULKA

Nothing is comparable to the experience I had on LMVP.

I have made so many memories with my crazy, loving teammates. I have gained responsibility, hard working and time management skills that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to do what I love with a group of talented hardworking girls.

I will never forget the feeling of placing second at nationals, and making Iowa history. All of the hard work this season was so worth it. We couldn’t be where we are today with our amazing dedicated coaches. LMVP is something so special and will always hold a place in my heart.

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