KENNEWICK - The Sunnyside High School Grizzliette Dance Team capture second place honors during a competition held this past Saturday at Kamiakin High School.
The Grizzliettes recorded 243 points in the hip hop category, just three points back of first place Southridge High School with 246 points.
Coach Melodie Griffin said that's the highest score the Grizzliettes have received in her nine years of coaching them.
Sunnyside, she added, had won titles in 2005 and 2006 when the hip hop category was first introduced, but since then have gone without a title.
Also this past Saturday, the Grizzliettes competed in the dance competition, finishing with 211 points but not placing.
The Grizzliettes just missed out on third place honors at State last year in the hip hop category, and Griffin said the goal this year is to bring home a State championship from this year's State competition, set for Saturday, March 27, in the Yakima SunDome.
Between now and then, though, the Grizzliettes have their sights on the District competition set for Saturday, March 13, at West Valley.
Sunnyside will actually compete in three events at Districts this year, besides the hip hop and pom (short for pom pom) categories, the Grizzliettes will perform a dance routine choreographed by student Crystal Rivera as part of her senior project.
"She's hoping to take it to State," Griffin said of Rivera's routine. "She's made it to District's so she's on her way."
Griffin said the key to her team's improved success this year in scoring in the hip hop event comes from a combination of tighter choreography and fine tuning the line-up of dancers that participate.
"We're pushing ourselves to be the best, to bring our A game," she said.
Speaking of the high-point showing at Kennewick in the hip hop last week, Griffin said it was especially gratifying for the girls given the tough schedule they keep.
"I'm very proud that we came out with a big score," she said. "It was a very long day. We started at 5 a.m., competed and then performed at the game that night."