Local baton twirling team wins Gold at USA Twirling Championships

Submitted photo
The Phoenix Superstars award-winning team are, from left, assistant coach Sarah Ewart, Reagan Berry, Madelynn Cleis, Rachel Rodriguez, Abbey Ruffell, Erica Barndt, America Troupe, Erica Barndt, Madysin Hewitt, Gabi Anaya and director coach Becky Hewitt. The twirlers represent nine different schools in the Valley.

South Bend, Ind., was the site of the 73rd annual World Open Baton Twirling Championships. Thousands of baton twirlers gathered together this past month to compete in America’s Youth On Parade, baton twirling’s most prestigious event of the year. Twirlers from the United States, as well as foreign countries, competed in nine different solo events, including: one-baton, two-baton, three-baton, duet, trio, hoop, flag, strut and show twirl. Team events are held in Dance Twirl and Twirl.

Arizona was well represented by nine girls ages 10 to 18 called the Phoenix Superstars, directed by Becky Hewitt of Phoenix for the past 43 years and assisted by Sarah Ewart of Gilbert. The twirlers spent many hours perfecting their routines this past year preparing for the event, and were rewarded for their efforts by winning 40 medals and five team plaques, placing them in the Top 10 of the country, including their first-place National Team Title in the Large Junior Twirling Division. The Arizona Twirling Athlete nonprofit youth organization will be offering beginning twirling instruction in four different school districts beginning in September. For more information, email beckysbaton@cox.net or call 602-997-0522.

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