Quincy Notre Dame captures 11th Class A pom championship at Illinois Drill Team Association competition

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Winning never gets old for Jennifer Duesterhaus, coach of the Quincy Notre Dame High School pom team.

She says it just gets scarier.

“We have to try to be better than we were the year before, because we never know what the other teams are going to do,” she said. “We never assume we’re going to get it, so we push ourselves and keep doing as best as we can.”

Quincy Notre Dame captured its 11th Class A pom championship on Saturday at the Illinois Drill Team Association state contest in the Bank of Springfield Center. QND repeated as champions, two years after a nine-year title run ended.

The IDTA had 160 dance and flag teams representing junior high school, junior varsity and varsity programs participating in Springfield. QND competed against three other teams in the Class A pom division — Gardner-South Wilmington, Elmwood and Trenton Wesclin.

Duesterhaus thought her team performed “phenomenally.”

“When we saw it, we knew we had done our very best,” she said. “We probably had a great chance of winning, but you just never know because it’s very subjective. At the end of the day, it comes down to what the judges personally like the best. We check all of our boxes. We do the proper things, but (the judges) are ultimately the ones who are going to decide.

“At the end of the day, we always think we did the best. We just don’t know what the judges are like at that moment.”

Quincy Notre Dame also received the high champion award in Class A for having the highest score out of all categories — pom, open pom, lyrical jazz, kick, hip hop and flag.

Duesterhaus says fans won’t see the state championship routine Tuesday night at halftime of the boys basketball game against West Hancock when Senior Night is celebrated.

“We have to go back to practice on Monday, and now we go back to the drawing board,” she said. “There’s a chance we’ll do (the championship routine) at one of the (regional) games in the next two weeks, but after that, we already have tryouts scheduled. We’ll be picking a new team here at the end of March, so the work never stops.”

Front row from left, Adison Tangy, Ella Hummel, Payten Rice, McKinley Smith, Grayson Pritts, Macy Schlipman and Grace Bertram. Middle row from left, Avery Larson, Kaitlyn Stegeman, Lauren McDowell, Aubrey Sparrow, Avery Kapp, Avery Crane, Lanie Mast, gabi Cook and Della Bockenfeld. Back row from left, Callie Altgilbers, Mia Pabisiak, Isabelle Boudreau, Annie Cook, Addie Schuster, Logan Rice and Aubrey Wellman. Not pictured are coaches Jennifer Duesterhaus, Spencer Kroshinsky and Caitlyn Adams. | Photo courtesy of Mark McDowell

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