PORTLAND – McMinnville officially joined the ranks of the state's elite cheerleading programs Saturday by winning it's first state title in the annual OSAA championship at Memorial Coliseum.
The Grizzlies upset four-time defending champion Thurston to win the Coed Large division, setting off a massive celebration amongst the teams athletes and coaches.
In the all-day competition, Newberg won it's fifth consecutive title, edging David Douglas for the Coed Small title, while Westview returned to the ranks of title winners in the 6A division after a five-year layoff.
South Albany defended its title at 5A, Gladstone won at 4A after finishing second last year and Delphian of Sheridan defended its title in the 3A division.
McMinnville's program has been on the cusp of a title for years, finishing second in 2009, '13 and last year. But, the win this year was somewhat out of the blue as the team had finished second in competitions five times in January to three different teams: Centennial, Lebanon and Thurston. Saturday, the Grizzlies performed near flawlessly, and edged the Colts 181.40 to 178.20 in overall judging. Lebanon finished third, and Centennial placed fifth behind Hidden Valley.
The title was the first in an OSAA sport or activity since the girls swim team won in 2004.
Westview won five title in six years through 2012, but crosstown rival Aloha won three of the next four years at 6A. Saturday, Westview edged Aloha 190.50-180.90.
Newberg won the past four years in the 6A Small division, but moved to the Coed Small division this year after adding a male teammate, who girls on the team had been urging to join for three years, they said. Moving to that division put the Tigers up against David Douglas, which won the division last year, and had won at 6A Large in 2015.
Although David Douglas had a strong performance, scoring 200.70, Newberg hit the day's top score at 210.90. South Albany had the second highest score at 204.40, winning by 21 points over The Dalles.
South Albany had the day's top score for its overall routine, edging David Douglas in that category 59-58.
Gladstone's win at 4A reversed last year's top finishers as the Gladiators beat defending champion Sweet Home by just 0.20 points: 175.80-175.60. Henley placed third at 172.20.
Delphian's performance, scoring 170.30, would have put it in the top five in the next highest divisions despite having only one senior on its roster.
CAPTAINS: Eva Drazkowski, Jr., Maxine Anderson, Jr.
Depth propels both Grizzlies and Crusaders to favored spots in 6A meet
Feb. 17, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
McMinnville returned to the top of the state's swim programs with championship-caliber depth Friday after the preliminary heats at the OSAA state swimming championships.
With its three relays all set for finals - two of them having qualified first or second - and three finalists in the 100 butterfly, the Grizzlies are poised to win their first state title since 2002.
McMinnville's line-up, led by seniors Matthew Valentine and Blake Tillery, appears on the way to scoring more than 180 points, while defending champion Sunset is in the 160-point range. Grant, which won two years ago and placed second last year, is headed for a total of around 130.
In the girls race, Lake Oswego's strong challenge to Jesuit hit a major snag when its 200 medley relay team was disqualified. Sophomore Sarah Kauniz posted an All-America time in the 100 backstroke for the Lakers and also qualified first for the finals in another and senior Catherine Yee qualified second and fourth in two finals. Their other two relay teams qualified first and second.
Jesuit, the three-time defending champion, qualified all three of its relay teams either first or second.
The championships conclude Saturday at the Mt. Hood Community College Aquatics Center.