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Tigard and Valley Catholic take top honors at the state dance and drill championships.

TIMES PHOTO: JON LARIVIERRE - Tigard dancers Abby Lam, foreground, and Madison Heniff helped take their team to the Class 6A Dance and Drill Team championships last weekend.Crews from Tigard and Valley Catholic high schools brought home top honors on Saturday, March 17, at the state dance and drill team competition.

Tigard took first place in the Class 6A division, with Lake Oswego in second place, followed by Westview, Sheldon, Sunset, Sherwood and Tualatin.

Valley Catholic beat out the competition in all the combined Class 1A to 4A divisions, beating out Gladstone and Crook County.

Pendleton High took the Class 5A championship.TIMES PHOTO: BRIAN MONAHAN - Kyra Stoianschewsky and Koko Yoshioka of Valley Catholic High School helped their squad nab top honors in Divisions 1A to 4A last week.

"We lost a lot of seniors last year and thought this would be a building year," said Tigard Head Coach Linda Sharon. "But it just clicked."

"Clicked" is right: Sharon received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the weekend tourney. She has coached dance and drill teams for 41 years; 38 of them in Tigard.

This is her third state championship.

She had 16 years of classical ballet training before becoming a coach.

Sharon has seen her students graduate and go on to professional careers; several as coaches throughout Oregon, becoming BlazerDancers — at one point, five of the 16 performers on the Portland Trail Blazer's squad were her alumnae — or performing for such professional teams as the Denver Broncos.

At last weekend's competition, dancers Abby Lam and Madison Heniff netted All-State honors. Heniff also won a dance scholarship. Lam and Ashley Kohlman received academic scholarships for maintaining grade-point averages at or near 4.0.Kailen Perry of Westview High School.

The Tigard squad heads next to nationals, leaving Thursday, March 22, for Anaheim, Calif., and taking five team routines and three solo efforts.

For Valley Catholic, last weekend's championship kept up an impressive streak of victores. Beyond winning state — again — the Valiants netted a perfect season record, starting with the Dance and Drill Coaches Association of Oregon fall category season and first-place wins at Gladstone and Wilsonville. The team's performance of "The Night Orchestra" also earned honors at Philomath, Stayton, Parkrose and Liberty during their winter season, according to a school spokesperson.Tualatin High's co-captains, from left, Heather Rosin, Ally Fergusson, Camryn Rentfrow and Chloe Whitt.

Co-head coach Megan Hoffman said she and fellow head coach Jessica Anderson started together 12 years and have netted seven state championships along the route. She doesn't shy away from the word "dynasty."

"We like to think so," Hoffman said with a laugh.

"It was just excellent competition this year," she said. "As always. There are lots of long-term coaches in Oregon, so you never take anything for granted."Vora Limpaphayom, foreground, and Alaiza Montez of Sunset High School's squad.

With relatively few seniors on this year's squad, the Valiants look well placed to return to the tournament in 2019.

Co-head coach Megan Hoffman said she and fellow head coach Jessica Anderson started together 12 years and have netted seven state championships along the route. She doesn't shy away from the word "dynasty."

"We like to think so," Hoffman said with a laugh.

"It was just excellent competition this year," she said. "As always. There are lots of long-term coaches in Oregon, so you never take anything for granted."

With relatively few seniors on this year's squad, the Valiants look well placed to return to the tournament in 2019.Sherwood High: Ariana Black is held aloft by, from left, Lily Starling, Sydnie Davis, Jen Christensen and Abi Hampton.

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