The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

Drill Team’s Improvements Show in Success at State

MIHS Drill

March 23, the Mercer Island Drill Team (MIDT) went to the sundome in Yakima for their state competition and placed second in two out of their three categories: the kick category and the military category. 

With the highest possible score being 300, 100 points from each of three judges, the team got a score of 266.90 in kick and a 273.00 in military, which was a huge improvement in comparison to past years. 

This was MIDT’s first time competing in the kick category, and they went against five other teams, so placing second was an unexpected but exciting surprise. 

“Kick is all emphasis on kicking your legs,” Kyle Mosler, the head coach of MIDT. “So there are tons of different ways to kick your legs. A straight leg kick, a fan kick for example. Quarter kicks, half kicks and the kick routines. The rule is that 50% of the time you have to be kicking. So you can do other things in the routine.”

With only one kick practice per week, the team still took home the second place prize. “My favorite part was placing second in kick because we didn’t expect much going into state with that routine so we were very pleasantly surprised,” senior captain Jada Luu said.

The team also placed second in the Military category against nine other teams.

“Military is all about sharp angular hand arm sequences and pattern formations,” Mosler said. “So when we move we want all of our formations to move super synchronously, in super perfect shapes. We want all of our arms and legs to move it the exact same way at the exact same time.” 

They were state runner-ups for the first time since 2006. 

“Being on the team for three years, I’ve definitely been able to see how this team has grown and we are currently on the steepest upwards trajectory ever,” MIDT junior lieutenant Penelope Thomas said.

As well as competing full-team routines, each individual member of every team competed in drill downs. Drill downs are dancing movements in a competitive sequence where someone announces a dance move, and the people competing have to react quickly in order to move forward. It is difficult and hundreds competed in it. Freshman Bella Liang placed third in drill downs. 

“It’s very exciting that Bella got third place because that was her first time competing in [state] drill downs,” Mosler said. 

The team had been working very hard leading up to the state competition.

“Once the school year starts we practice three days a week in the morning before school, so Tuesday and Thursday from 6:15 to 7:45 a.m.,” Mosler said. “And then on Wednesdays from seven to 8:25 a.m. As we get closer to competition starting in the winter time we will start practicing more usually and having Saturday practices the week before a competition.”

MIDT has immensely improved in the past year and there’s no question that it will improve even more by next year’s state competition.

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