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State dance: Prescott earns runner-up finishes, Ellsworth takes eighth and 10th

The Prescott dance team took second in both D2 jazz and D4 pom at the Wisconsin state dance competition in La Crosse on Saturday, Feb. 3. Seniors Emma Carlson, Madison Hoikka, Madison Dorau, Mari Sommer and Kjerstin Carlson were named to the D2 all-state team. Photo courtesy of Sam Schoen 1 / 2
The Ellsworth dance team took eighth in D4 pom and 10th in D2 hip hop at the state dance competition on Saturday, Feb. 3 in La Crosse. Katie Davidson / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

The Prescott and Ellsworth dance teams competed in the Wisconsin Association of Cheer/Pom Coaches State Dance Championships on Saturday, Feb. 3 at the La Crosse Civic Center.

Prescott, the state's defending Division 2 jazz champions, finished as runners-up in D2 jazz and D4 pom. Waupaca took the D2 jazz title while Little Chute was named the first-place D4 pom squad.

Though the Cardinals were disappointed to not bring home two first-place trophies, seniors Emma Carlson, Madison Hoikka, Madison Dorau, Mari Sommer and Kjerstin Carlson represented Prescott on the D2 all-state team.

Ellsworth took eighth place in D4 pom and finished 10th in D2 hip-hop, and although the Panthers didn't bring home any hardware, they were pleased with the improvements they've made since last year's state meet.

"We gave it all we had on the dance floor, co-head coach Angie McHardy said. "Last year, pom took 12th, so to improve this year was a success. Ellsworth has never competed in a hip-hop number, so to take 10th at state the first year is outstanding."

Ellsworth's Alyssa Pechacek was selected as a member of the all-state team.

"Making it to state again this year was so bittersweet for us because we have five seniors who have worked so hard and have blessed this team with their talents," McHardy said. "We wanted to achieve this for them so bad, and we are so happy they got to experience this opportunity again before they all move on to the next exciting chapter of their lives."

Ellsworth High School sent off the dance team on Friday, Feb. 2, and McHardy said she teared up during the ceremony. "Not only did the band play, the teachers made a tunnel for the team to run through, then the ambulance, fire trucks, and police escorted us through town," McHardy said. "The entire student body was outside braving the cold to cheer for us on as we drove by. It was very special."

McHardy gave a special thanks to the "wonderful" high school faculty.

"Ann Anderson, our athletic director, and EHS Principal Mark Stoesz set this all up and it went so smooth. Our community is the best.

"[Co-head coach] Sara [Harrington] and myself are beyond words proud of this team's accomplishments this year, and love how the program is growing."