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GOING FOR GOLD

SHE IS A GOLD MEDALIST. SHE IS IN EIGHTH GRADE AT NCMS. Kendall crushes the competition.
GOING+FOR+GOLD
Mrs. Sasha Anderson/ Used with permission

The USA twirling team, The Jazz Dolls, took home gold at the Tiny Tot Grand National Twirling Competition earlier this year. Hoover’s Kendall Anderson was one of the gold duet winners. She even won two more gold medals with her team later in the competition. Being on a team is a time consuming responsibility, especially as a student. However, she has learned how to work around this during her seasons on the team.

“I had practice in the summer fi ve days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” Anderson said. “I practice after school from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. three days per week, on Saturday and Sunday as well.”

All her time and eff ort was well worth it. Her team later won gold for their duet baton performance. She wasn’t expecting to place, causing so many more emotions.

“I was really excited and so shocked when they announced us as Gold Medalist, and started crying with happiness,” Anderson said.

With her mother, Sasha Anderson, in the stands, even more emotions were shared when their duet was announced for gold.

“I was shocked! Kendall and Bailey [pictured right in photos with Kendall] were one of the youngest in their age division. I cried out of happiness,” Mrs. Anderson said.

She had never won a gold medal before, making this experience even more special for her. She later went in to win two more medals the same day. “This was my first gold medal, we also won two gold medals with my team, The Jazz Dolls,” Anderson said.

Every sport comes with diff erent mental challenges and unique struggles. Kendall has learned to adjust to this and put it towards motivation when twirling. She also spoke about her greatest challenges.

“Probably learning new tricks and disappointment when not placing as well at competitions,” she said. Even though sports have challenges, they also have their upsides, including “having friends not from the school and loving all my coaches.”

Anderson has her own set-up on days of competition. Having a set up brings her luck and calmness to the otherwise chaotic and busy day.

“At competitions, I have a certain routine that prepares me. I keep my lucky hand towel and one of my coaches by the competition floor while I compete,” Anderson said.

Along with the social positivity baton has provided Kendall, it has also given her many opportunities and paved the way for her future.

“Kendall has had opportunities to travel all over the U.S. She competed at her first world championship in 2022 in the Netherlands, which was originally scheduled for 2020. She won two silver medals and one bronze medal. She plans to twirl in college and hopes to earn a scholarship,” Mrs. Anderson said.

While her daughter has many responsibilities within the sport; as a mother of an athlete, so does Mrs. Anderson. Knowing what it’s like to be on The Jazz Dolls team, she takes her child’s sport as seriously as Kendall does. The twirling experience in their family has been passed down.

“I twirled a baton. I competed individually and with the same team Kendall does, The Jazz Dolls. I was a Hoover Head Majorette in high school,” she said.

Being on the baton team and a majorette has allowed her mother to be more understanding and supportive of her daughter’s experience.

“[Kendall] tells me where to watch her from in the stands. Sometimes I may have to hold something that she feels brings her luck,”

Mrs. Sasha Anderson/ Used with permission

she said.

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About the Contributor
Kaeleigh Heckaman
Kaeleigh Heckaman, Focus Editor
My name is Kaeleigh and I love writing. I am a freshman and I am also in Yearbook. I play volleyball, run track, and love trying new sports.