L-W West Dance Team earns third place state trophy
Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Lincoln-Way West dance team made history this past weekend winning a third place trophy at their state competition.

What a fantastic year for Wests Competitive Dance team. All year they have faced great teams in the best competitions and every time they acted and performed like champions. Winning the SWSC conference at both the JV and Varsity levels, winning the sectional and culminating the season by winning the first state team trophy in Lincoln-Way West history, stated Ted Robbins, West Athletic Director, as he welcomed students, parents and community members to the Warrior Lodge for a trophy presentation on Wednesday evening , February 4.

Robbins continued, We are very proud of not only your trophies and awards, but also on how you always represent yourself, your school, and your community with dignity and class.

I started calling them the Dream Team in September and these young ladies have lived up to that name in every way. In the beginning, I called them that because of their skill level. Throughout the season it became more about their willingness to try anything, their cohesiveness and desire to do their best, stated Melissa Sweeney, head coach and mathematics teacher at West.

Sweeney continued, This group of young ladies has made your parents, coaches and school incredibly proud. I hope you all realize how much each of you contributed to this teams success.

Senior Gabby Tanquilut stated, Throughout this season, this team, this dream team has accomplished being undefeated in regionals, being conference champions, sectional champions, and taking third place in state. In all it just seems so unreal. But the most important thing is that we started together and we ended together. Most people would define the word team as a group of people who work together to accomplish something. Yes, that is correct, however, we are far more than that.

Tanquilut continued, Between each and every one of us there is a special bond; we all hold this connection because we have grown so close to each other. Whether its at practice or a competition, we dance together with this special connection, which makes us stand out. That is how we got here, presenting this state trophy, together.

The West Warrior competitive dance team placed third with a score of 91.20 in class 2A at the state competition on Saturday, January 31 hosted at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington.

Geneva High School placed first in class 2A with a score of 95.26 and Libertyville High School placed second with a score of 92.12. Fourth place was awarded to Lake Villa High School with a score of 89.74 and fifth place was earned by Vernon Hills with 89.50.

Coaches for the varsity team are Head Coach Melissa Sweeney, and Assistant Coach Justine Haw.

For the rest of your lives every time you drive past West, I hope you reflect on your time here, the fantastic climate you helped build and the fact that you will always be the FIRST team to bring home a state trophy to West, Dr. Monica Schmitt, principal, told the team during the ceremony.

The 23 members of the historic dance competition team are: Meredith Buldak, Rachel Czaja, Erin Dolan, Caroline Floyd, Kellie Galvan, Mary Goad, Lauren Heavener, Destiny Hernandez, Breanne Jacobs, Jessi Karlic, Meghan Kirk, Danielle Kuchler, Caitlyn McGrory, Dana Moss, Jordan Mysliwiec, Sydney Novak, Samantha Santo, Carly Senerchia, Miranda St. Amour, Shannon Sterr, Erika Tanquilut, Gabby Tanquilut and Carlee Wajchert.

This is the third year that competitive dance has been recognized as a sport by the IHSA. The Warrior Dance Team placed 1st in Conference and 1st in Sectionals this year. The Warrior Varsity Team has qualified for the state series each year placing 10th in 2013; 15th in 2014 and 3rd in 2015.

You are what we at West want our student-athletes to be: strong, devoted, classy, competitive people who have fun and are fun to be around. We could not be prouder of each and every one of you, said Schmitt.

The state trophy will be permanently displayed in a trophy case located in the hall outside of the gym.