Record-breaking 148 teams at ’09 Nationals
They came from places like New York City, Philadelphia, Nashville, Houston, Oakland, the Navajo reservations of Arizona. Over four days (June 18-21), some 1,500 Starlings girls played, danced, laughed, and frolicked at the famous beaches of San Diego at the 12th annual event.
The fun began at the Opening Ceremony, where teams marched in waving club banners, met their Sister Teams, applauded for the announced winners of the Literary/Art Contest, and listened to Olympic gold medalist and breast cancer survivor Deena Schmidt give a riveting talk on awareness and prevention of the disease.
Fierce competition revealed a new power in the Starlings club of Omaha, winning both the 18s and 14s Gold Division titles. Capturing first place in the 14s Gold Division was South Bay (Carson, Calif.) and the youngsters of Shonto (Ariz.) walked with the 12s gold medals.
Saturday night featured USAV’s High Performance Coordinator Heath Hoke conducting a tryout for over 100 Starlings girls, while Starlings national coaching director Tod Mattox led a coaching clinic featuring guest speaker Jim Stone, head coach of Ohio State.
To view a poem awarded First Place in the 2009 Literary/Art Contest (7th and 8th grade division), click here. This years theme was “What a Starling Can Do to Fight Breast Cancer.”
Pictured: Above, Houston’s Starlings were among the over 1,500 on hand for the Opening Ceremony of the 2009 Nationals. Below, Olympic gold medalist and breast cancer survivor Deena Schmidt shared her message of awareness and prevention of the disease at the opening ceremony.