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Saxon cheer meets goals, Vikes win, at Lion invite

The Lakewood varsity competitive cheer team gives its flyers a lift during round three of the Maple Valley New Year Invitational Saturday. The Vikings finished just ahead of the Hastings Saxons to win the overall championship.

Brett Bremer

Sports Editor

The Saxons were ready to take the mat Saturday.

Hastings varsity competitive cheer team had some big goals it wanted to accomplish in the opening meets of 2020, and it will have to come up with some new ones following its performance at the Maple Valley's New Year Invitational.

“They crushed every goal our first time out,” Hastings head coach Linsey Jacinto said. “It was amazing to watch them see the results of all of the literal blood, sweat, and tears they have put in.”

Hastings was second overall in the six-team field finishing with an overall final score of 716.56. Lakewood was about 20 points in front of the Saxons, taking the day's championship with 736.28 points.

The Saxons were about a half point better than the Vikings in round two, outscoring them 209.96 to 209.58. The Vikings had a 5.5 point edge on the Saxons after round one, and then pulled away with what was the best round three of the day by a sizable margin.

Jacinto said her team went into the day wanting to score over 700 overall for the day and throw back tucks in round two, among other scoring and performance goals. The round two back tucks helped the Hastings girls score more than 200 points in round two for the first time in Jacinto's six year's leading the program.

“We once had a 199.9, so breaking 200 was a huge goal,” Jacinto said.

The Saxons met their goal of 210 points in round one with a score of 220.50 and met their goal of 275 points in round three with a score of 716.56 in that final round.

“We have really focused on jumps, precision, and overall impression. We wanted to come out with a lot of energy and really pump up the crowd,” Jacinto said of her team's round one performance.

Lakewood won the invitational by adding scores of 226.00 in round one and 300.70 in round three. The Vikings had the highest score of the day in each of those rounds.

The Saxons' Interstate-8 Athletic Conference rivals from Pennfield were third with 667.12 points, ahead of Sturgis 659.70, Webberville 644.00 and Maple Valley 621.00.

Lumen Christi will host the opening Interstate-8 jamboree of the season next Wednesday, Jan. 15.

“Honestly, we are not even looking at who we are competing against,” Jacinto said after besting the 2018-19 I-8 champs from Pennfield Saturday. “We are just focused on being the best team Hastings has ever had, and beating our past. We have a line in our Round 1 that says, 'it’s not about luck or past tradition, this team right here is on a mission.'  It could not be more true.”

Pennfield put together point totals of 218.80 in round one, 189.32 in round two and 259.00 in round three.

The Maple Valley girls scored a 199.60 in round one, 176.90 in round two and 262.50 in round three. The Lions outscored Pennfield and Sturgis in round three, a pair of teams that were above them in the overall final standings.

Lion head coach Sarah Huissen and her team were pleased to reach their goal of accomplishing three of the four choreography points by getting their OLE (one leg extension) in during that final round performance.

“Round three was the highlight of the day. The girls love to perform the stunts in this round,” Huissen said.

The Lions were scheduled to host Lakewood and the rest of the Greater Lansing Activities Conference for the first GLAC jamboree of the season last night. The Lions and Vikings will see each other again Friday at the Lakewood Viking CheerFest.

Hastings is back in action Saturday at Gull Lake's Blue Devil Invitational.

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