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Ritenour Students Twirl to Nationals Success

Seventh grade students Maggie Bannester (Hoech Middle School) and Gabrielle Sanders (Ritenour Middle School) spent their summer working towards being ranked nationally in the biggest baton twirling championship in the country.

The National Baton Twirling Championship, American Youth on Parade (AYOP), was held at the University of Notre Dame from July 23-27. More than 2,500 baton twirlers from throughout the U.S. and Canada traveled for the week of both individual and team competitions.

“This was my first nationals and it was great so see what is possible to work towards in the future,” said Bannester.

Both students are members of the Sugarettes Baton Team located in St. Peters, Mo. With a summer schedule practicing six hours a day on weekdays, plus additional private lessons, these girls' goal was to win big at Notre Dame.

“One of my favorite parts during the week is being able to see the final big show with all the best in the country,” said Sanders.

Gabrielle is the daughter of Samantha and Marc Sanders. Maggie is the daughter of Jane Bannester and coached by Tracy Weber, both teachers at Ritenour High School.

Sugarettes Team results:
3rd place - Halftime Team Performance
16th place - Small Rhythmic Team
5th place - Large Rhythmic Team

Gabrielle Sanders:
1st Place - Novice Strut
3rd Place - Novice Flag

Maggie Bannester:
5th Place - Novice Strut
7th Place - Novice Solo

Seventh grade students Maggie Bannester (Hoech Middle School) and Gabrielle Sanders (Ritenour Middle School)       Sugarettes