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Saunders named NAIA All-American

February 22, 2015

By Adam Samson, Sports Information Director

ADRIAN, Mich. – The Stephens College competitive dance team closed out the 2014-15 season Saturday placing seventh overall in both the prelims and finals of the NAIA Cheer & Dance East Regional. Finishing outside of the top three dance teams, the Starlets came up short on earning a bid to the NAIA Cheer & Dance National Invitational in March.

Calumet College of St. Joseph claimed first place in finals with a score of 101.67, followed by Siena Heights University (97.67) and Lindenwood University-Belleville (92.17). The Starlets improved their prelims mark by three points, finishing with a total score of 80.17 in the finals.

“With it being our first year of competition, I think this trip to regionals was an invaluable experience,” head competitive dance coach Danyale Williams said. “It allowed us to see what other teams are doing, how we match up with them, and I think it will ultimately help us continue to build the competitive dance team here at Stephens.”

Following the cheer and dance competitions, a group of student-athletes went head-to-head for the chance at earning All-American status. Prior to this weekend, several individuals learned a video routine to perform at Regionals.

Two Starlets – Beck Saunders and Destiney Lockhart – competed in the individual dance skills competition. Following a near-perfect routine, Saunders was one of four awarded All-American status with two others receiving honorable mention. Saunders, a senior from Ahwatukee, Ariz., recorded the highest average score (19.25) among 11 dancers with the next closest competitor averaging a 17.

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