Magicians hail ‘Best of the Midwest’ | News, Sports, Jobs


Photo submitted Team Minot High cheer poses after earning Grand Champion honors at the Best of the Midwest competition on Jan. 15.

One quality that all successful high school cheer squads must possess is the ability to memorize and learn, and quickly, at that.

The Minot High School Cheer Team made history last weekend, bringing Minot the high school division grand championship in the first-ever “Best of the Midwest” competition, hosted by Fargo, North Dakota’s Scheels Arena, although there was a catch.

“We didn’t know what it would look like or how we would score, because we didn’t know or hadn’t done any of that,” Minot head coach Vytalli Klimpel admitted. “Most, I would say 90% of what we haven’t done before.”

No one would have guessed by watching the magicians’ performance in Fargo. Minot finished in the top three in each of his 13 events throughout the competition, including first-place honors in the routine event that won his major championship.

South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana were also represented by competing programs, and Minot High won its title over three other North Dakota schools in the high school division: West Fargo Sheyenne, West Fargo, and Watford City.

“It was awesome. The girls were so excited they were jumping up and down. Klimpel added. “They were really excited to get all those placements and then for our routine to get that ‘grand champion’ title. Especially going up against those other three high schools and they were also really good, we were really excited.

The Magicians began planning and training for the event just two months prior, working out the issues of the routines they would debut in front of the Fargo crowd. The competition consisted of two rounds each of solo, duet and trio performances, as well as two jump solos, two somersault solos, two stunts and a final group routine.

Lely Rivera added to Minot’s gear with a Triple Crown, an honor she earned for producing the highest combined score among participants in each of the three solo events. The Magicians then capped off the weekend with wins in both specialty categories as well, for best jumps and best stunt performance.

Aided by months of training, the team’s propensity to learn and memorize choreography quickly played a crucial role in their success this weekend, and Klimpel believes it will set them up for success in the tournament as well. state in March.

“They pick things up very well and very quickly. If we throw something at them, they usually don’t take long to knock it down.” said Klimpel. “If some people don’t understand, we work one-on-one with those people at different times. They’re just all really good at picking up stuff right away; we’ve trained them well enough to get them to this point.

Klimpel and his assistant coaches began the season by tossing various choreographed dances to the team at random, often with no other use of the dance aside from exercising the athletes’ memory skills.

The team naturally acquired the ability to learn faster with practice throughout the season and greatly enjoyed taking on a new challenge to break their usual two-competition slate.

The state meet is next on Minot’s schedule, and Klimpel and his staff believe the weekend’s event has gone a long way in preparing the team for its season finale.

“We’ve definitely had to work them a lot harder this season,” noted Kimpel. “Having the January one really cut the time on things, and we had to learn a bunch of new things, rather than starting things for the winter competition. But I think they will do better now. We’ve pushed them a lot this season for sure, and we’ve had a lot of extra training on the weekends. I think they are ready.



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Brian L. Hartfield