AUGUSTA — Defending state champion Lewiston High School made the most of a challenging routine and won its second straight Eastern Maine Class A cheering regional Saturday evening at the Augusta Civic Center.
The Blue Devils scored 155.5 of a possible 175 points in the judging of jumps, dance sequences, pyramid and partner stunts, tumbling and cheering, and was the only team among the top five finishers not to have a deduction penalty.
“This is actually the best performance we’ve had so far,” said Lewiston senior tri-captain Shae Godbout. “Overall our tumbling was a lot better and our energy was just higher. We were able to get more out of each other than we have in the earlier meets.”
Lewiston is one of six teams advancing to the Class A state meet, scheduled for Feb. 11 at Augusta. Bangor, Brewer, Edward Little of Auburn, Hampden Academy and Oxford Hills of South Paris also qualified from the 12-school regional field.
“We haven’t peaked yet,” said Godbout. “We want to make sure at states we make our presence known. It’s definitely big for us to come out big and strong, and we want to keep building each week.”
Bangor overcame a wardrobe malfunction of sorts — a lost sneaker midway through its routine — to finish second with 147.2 points.
The Rams were about 45 seconds into their routine when freshman Lauren Nightingale lost one of sneakers as she was being prepared for a lift. The routine was halted momentarily, and Bangor was allowed to resume without penalty from the point at which the lost sneaker took place.
“I think the biggest thing is you have to settle their nerves when something like that happens,” said Bangor coach Kate Robichaud, “and tell them that it does not affect your score, it absolutely does not affect your score. and this is your second chance to go out there and hit the rest of your routine.”
And that’s what Nightingale and the rest of the Rams did in duplicating their second-place finish behind Lewiston at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships earlier this month.
“Today we had one of the best attitudes we’ve ever had and we proved it on the mat, even with falls and the dilemma,” said Bangor senior tri-captain Alicia Stairs.
Brewer, which had finished 10th in its previous two meets this winter, finished a strong third with 146 points.
“We’ve been working really hard this past week because we wanted to do well, and we knew if we finished top-six we’d be happy,” said Brewer senior captain Maggie Sullivan.
“We were all praying that we’d do well today, and to get third is amazing.”
Edward Little of Auburn (132.9) edged Hampden Academy (127.0) for fourth place, with Hampden overcoming a deduction penalty of 10 points with an otherwise solid performance to top sixth-place Oxford Hills of South Paris (116.2).
Other schools in the competition were Cony of Augusta (111.1), Mount Ararat of Topsham (110.4), Lawrence of Fairfield (109.6), Mt. Blue of Farmington (108.3), Erskine Academy of South China (105.2) and Brunswick (95.6).