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Davis Journal

Nixelles defend state drill title

Feb 11, 2021 12:30PM ● By Catherine Garrett

In a year of continual uncertainty, one thing did not change. The Farmington High drill team remained atop the 5A ranks with its second consecutive state title, winning this time around on Feb. 4 at Utah Valley University. The Nixelles placed first in Dance and Show while taking second in Military.

“It feels good to have won again,” head coach Marci Hartvigsen said. “Once you know how to do it, it gets a little bit easier since it’s easier for the girls to wrap their head around the possibility of winning.”

Viewmont placed second just as the Vykelles did a year ago, with a top showing in Military and runners-up placements in Dance and Show. Bountiful’s fourth place finish in Military and Dance put the Mandonelles in fourth overall.

In the 6A state championships the Davis D’Ettes placed fifth by taking fifth in Dance and Show.

For first-place Farmington, they came into state riding high off their region performance but felt they did less than their best during the semifinal round, particularly with their Military set. 

“It just felt off,” Hartvigsen said. “So, after semis that night, we went back to the school and straight into the gym to work. You have to really lock all three categories down to have a chance.”

Not only did Farmington work overtime, but they also visited Bountiful’s team at their practice that night with treats and encouragement after one of the Mandonelles broke her foot during their semifinal performance.

The extra time on the floor paid off for the Nixelles with their performances in the finals with a high-risk Dance routine and a “fire performance” in Show that brought it home, according to Hartvigsen.

“We just tried to do ‘us,’ and focus on our own goals so you don’t lose energy worry about things you can’t control,” Hartvigsen said. “The kids did feel some pressure but they also had the confidence to go out there and win it.”

The squad’s theme this year was “One Team, Our Team,” meaning that regardless of what was happening, the Nixelles knew they had each other, that they weren’t going to give up, that they were going to pull together and work together and do their best.

Hartvigsen noted the amazing support of “our unreal parents” who changed the mood among the sparse crowd during the state championships by recognizing the hard work that all of the participants had put in and deciding to stand and cheer for each team. “From a group message that circulated among our parents during the semis, they brought energy and created such a support between the teams,” Hartvigsen said. “They have unmatched humility, support and standards. Their love and kindness definitely came through this season.”

All-State dancers Evi Hartvigsen and McKenna Dickamaore helped lead the Nixelles this year. Additionally, president Halle Larsen, along with captains Evi Hartvigsen and Mylee Terr, were also credited by coach Hartvigsen for their “amazing leadership” the past several months.

Also on the 2020-21 Nixelles “Dream Team” squad are Mikelle Bagley, Asia Bennett, Lainey Boulton, Emma Brophy, Hannah Clark, Rylee Egbert, Calyn Erickson, Shaylee Ford, Annie Garlick, Savannah Glassey, Emma Hammond, Grace Holladay, Avery Jensen, Kisley Johnson, Abby Lloyd, Annie Lodder, Ava McPherson, Ryanne Mitchell, Aliyah Montoya, Annalise Mortensen, Ainsley Painter, Marina Perovich, Lauren Rencher, Lacey Rigby, Brynlee Sanders, Hailey Shipley, Avery Short, Lily Short, Emma Smith, Megan Wall, Maren Williams, ShaeLynn Wilson and Bailee Yeates. Marci Hartvigsen was assisted on the coaching staff by Shalice Larsen, Sue Bagley and Ashley Dayton.

The Farmington team pushed through a tough season which almost didn’t happen when they found themselves without finished costumes the night before a parent meeting. “We were missing sleeves and it was kind of a mess, but we decided that we were going to do this season regardless of how it looks,” Hartvigsen said. “We said that we’re not letting this beat us so giving it our best shot at full throttle will be our best.”

The Nixelles competed in their first competition of the year with five holes on the floor due to COVID and battled through 15 cases of the virus within the program at various times and a few soft closures at Farmington High. “We had to find creative ways to practice on Zoom and things and the girls gave up a lot of their social activities to keep everyone safe, but we were all just so grateful to have a season and be healthy,” Coach Hartvigsen said. “We knew that we absolutely had a championship team, regardless of the outcome.”

The Nixelles will perform in their annual showcase March 10 at 7 p.m. in the Farmington High main gym.