In July, Robin Gallagher, daughter of Garland and Joy Gallagher, competed in the National Baton Twirling Contest. This contest is called America’s Youth on Parade. It incorporates everything from team competitions to voice, ballet, drum corps, pomp on, cheer, one baton, 2 baton, 3 baton, drum major and modeling. The Contest is held on the campus of Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. This year, the contest winners in the advanced divisions, and collegiate divisions qualified for the U.S. Twirling Team. This team will compete in the European World contest in Belgium.
Robin competed in the open contest for baton solo, 2 baton, flag baton, and modeling. Robin placed 3 in solo, 4th in 2 batons, tying with a girl form New York, and 3rd in flag baton. Robin also worked as a clerk for several judges during the team competition. This means that Robin was writing the judge’s comments as the judge watched the performances. She would then tabulate the judge’s scores for confirmation by the judge. This was a great responsibility and was a great honor. Robin clerked for Judges from Texas, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. She also met and spoke personally with the founder of the National Baton Twirling Organization, Don Sartell of Wisconsin. At the end of the week Robin attended the finals for the collegiate championship.
Out of the 100 plus competitors, Baylor University’s Feature Twirler, Denary Couch, made the top 10 and had all the Texas competitors on their feet. Texas is one of the strongest twirling states in North America and always has a high number of competitors at the notional competition. There were numerous scholarships given for the collegiate champions.
Miss Gallagher attended with her coach, Belinda Finn and Mrs. Finn’s mother, Brenda Lehmberg. Mrs. Finn and Mrs. Lehmberg are part of a group of twirling teachers in Texas who are in charge of all team competitions for the National contest. This year alone, there were teams from the Virgin Islands, Canada, France and all over the U.S. Each day, over the 5 days of team competition, there were more than 100 teams competing in a variety of age groups as well as team events.
Robin will be a twirler at Angelo State University this fall and is a former Puncher twirler. Mason was well represented by Robin’s twirling ability, but more so by her strength of character.