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USTA Baton Twirling California State Championships Were Great!

June 3rd, 2010 · 2 Comments · Baton Competitions and Contests, Videos

We attended the recent USTA California State Championships and the event was a big success! My sister, Lori Hamilton Kinsey, and I grew up in a baton twirling family and competed at “State” each year. It was a wonderful opportunity, full of memories and smiles, to go and watch the performances this year and to see some baton twirling friends from the past. The competition was held in the beautiful facility at Heritage High School in Brentwood.

Some of the talented athletes competing were Matt Freeman, Monica Lee, Kurtis Hubbell, Rebecca Lantz, Aryn Bigler, Emily McCrone, Jenna Vonich, and Alyssa Go. The weekend also included an opportunity for beginning and intermediate athletes to perform and compete in the “May Madness” part of the event.

It was a delightful surprise to see so many twirling friends and colleagues from the past! Michael Cruz and his mother, Rhoda, attended and were part of a tribute to Michael’s sister, Cecilia Cruz McLean. Cecilia passed away last year and her contributions to the sport of twirling, particularly in California, were immense. Despite the sad circumstances, it was truly wonderful to talk to Michael again.

Left to right: Michael Cruz, Wendy Campbell Maul, Lori Hamilton Kinsey, Cindy Hamilton

Left to right: Michael Cruz, Wendy Campbell Maul, Lori Hamilton Kinsey, Cindy Hamilton

Other friends that we got to catch up with were Wendy Campbell Maul, Sharon Campbell, Paige Campbell (now there’s a terrific twirling family!), Barbara Dockter, Mark Nash, Dandi Hicks-Manuel, Karla Krull Hubbell, Kristine Clinger Rodrigues, and Margaret Wentz.

In-state and out-of-state judges included Mark Nash, Jackie Stewart, Amby Taylor, Barbara Dockter, Donna McAtee, Jenny Hannah, Kristine Rodrigues, Krystal Mignone, Tina Allman, and Sarah Enos. The championships were also attended by the press and articles promoting the event (and the sport of baton twirling) appeared in two local papers. Kudos to the California Baton Council and the many coaches, volunteers, and parents who made “State” possible with their time and support!

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Denise Hokanson Anderson

    Dear Michael Cruz,
    1st let me give you condolences on your sisters death in ’09.It is so sad, I loved her. I competed against her in the finals in Buffalo if i am not mistaken. No it was Beth Stovachek, Cecilia had won the year before. She was a constant inspiration to me. I belonged to the Huntington Thunderers. I always liked being around you as well with that infectious smile. I live in California now. Monterey to be exact. Michael if this e-mail makes it to you I hope you will e-mail me, as I would love to catch up…Again my love to your family and hers for a most devastating loss.
    Hope to talk with you.
    Denise Hokanson

    • admin


      I’ll pass your lovely note along to Michael, in case he doesn’t come across it here on the blog.

      I certainly remember you, as well as the Huntington Thunderers. You were one of the “big names” on the national scene, as well as Beth and Cecilia. You were all just a bit older than me and certainly inspired me with your performances.

      Best to you, Denise!

      Cindy Hamilton
      Twirl Planet

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