The Texas Tech University Twirlers competed at America’s Youth on Parade National Baton Twirling Championships, winning two team awards and 24 individual awards.
Six members of the Texas Tech University Twirlers have returned with two team and 24 individual awards after competing at the America's Youth on Parade National Baton Twirling Championships, held July 24-28 at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
Emily Smith, a sophomore from Austin, Shae Willingham, a junior from San Antonio, and seniors Megan Bass of Lufkin, Kailin George of Monahans, Allyson Padron of San Antonio and Alyssa Womble of Lubbock took second place in the National Collegiate Halftime Twirl Show team competition and eighth place in the National Collegiate Dance Twirl team competition.
Competition in the team categories was stiff this year, said Bethany Tolley, program coach and coordinator.
“We had an amazing routine and great energy,” Tolley said. “For the halftime competition, this is the routine we put together in about two weeks. They worked really hard on it. The placement is what it is, but as long as you're happy with your performance, you've succeeded. They were really happy with second place.”
The twirlers also competed individually in the age 20 and over category, earning 24 top-10 awards in strutting, flag twirling and solo-, two- and three-baton twirling. Texas Tech swept the National-International Championship Flag Twirling Swinging Contest for intermediate competitors, with Padron winning first, Willingham second, Smith third, George fourth and Bass fifth.
Texas Tech also won the following individual awards:
- Bass took first place in the beginner categories of solo-baton twirling and three-baton twirling. Competing in the novice category, Bass won second in the two-baton twirling championship and third in the women's world open strutting championship.
- Competing as a beginner, George placed second in the women's world open strutting championship, sixth in solo-baton twirling and eighth in the two- and three-baton twirling championships.
- Padron brought home second place as a beginner in the two-baton twirling championships and fifth place in the three-baton twirling championships. She also competed in the advanced category of the women's world open strutting championships, placing eighth.
- Smith won a first-place award competing as a novice in the women's world open strutting championships. She also competed as a beginner and won second place in solo-baton twirling, sixth place in the two-baton twirling championship and ninth place in the three-baton twirling championship.
- Willingham earned a first-place win in the women's world open strutting championship and sixth place in the solo-baton twirling championship intermediate categories. She also won third in the two- and three-baton twirling championship competing as a beginner.
This marks the eighth year the Texas Tech twirling team has competed at the national twirling championships. The team won 19 team and individual awards in 2017 and back-to-back national titles in 2014 and 2015.
“I was really happy with the way they performed – they did the best job I've ever seen them do,” Tolley said. “This is the first time they all placed in the top-10 in everything they competed in, and that is amazing.”
The Texas Tech Twirlers are part of the Goin' Band from Raiderland, the university's 450-member marching band. The Goin' Band is part of the School of Music in the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts. The 2018-2019 team consists of eight twirlers and one feature twirler, freshman Abby Morgan of Gonzales, who also competed at nationals.