Carroll’s Emerald Belles earned gold.
The drill team earned first place overall in their division garnering the title of national champions at the MA National Drill Team Competition in late March.
“It was very competitive,” Emerald Belles Director Melissa Page said. “My kids always seem to rally at the end and pull it together at the last hour.”
The team also won first in High Kick and Lyrical performances and their Jazz routine won a second place finish.
Page said she was surprised by the success, but her team is talented and works hard including daily 6:45 a.m. practices.
“I’ve taught them for a lot of years and they’re really dynamite kids,” Page said.
The team’s officers won first place in their dances and first place overall.
Out of 480 entries, four Belles places in the Solo finals and had a top three finish in the Duet category.
The also won a national championship in the Large Ensemble competition.
Team captain Lacey Munoz, who placed second in the 11/12 Solo competition, said the team was initially nervous at its first national competition.
“We were not sure going into this competition because it was nationals and we knew it would be a tougher competition,” the senior said. “That first night that we got there we weren’t really sure because we got second with team Jazz and we were kind of worried but that gave us a little push the next day.”
Munoz said what makes the team unique is its large size with 83 girls, and everyone’s commitment to the team.
“It is really helpful having so many leaders on our team,” she said. “Even if they didn’t have a leadership title everyone pitched in. Everyone wanted to do good.”
Page said the team’s schedule finally worked with a national competition this year and while she does not know if there will be a return trip next year, she was happy with the experience for her and the girls.
“The whole weekend it was just great,” Page said. “To see them so excited and see the joy on everyone’s face, even mine, it was a lot of fun.”