DuBOIS — The District 9 Competitive Spirit Championships where held Saturday at DuBois Area High School, and for the second straight year, Elk County Catholic and DuBois were the only local squads to earn a trip to the PIAA Championships in Hershey this weekend.
Elk County Catholic won the Small Varsity Division (15 or less squad members) with 85.45 points — the second-best overall score of the day behind only Medium Varsity Division champ Moniteau (89.3). The Lady Crusaders were second in the Small Division a year ago 77.2 points.
As for DuBois, the Lady Beavers earned an at-large bid to states after posting one of the five best overall scores with a 71.43. That placed them third in the Medium Varsity Division (16-20 squad members) behind champ Moniteau and runner-up Karns City (82.17).
DuBois’ total was more than 16 points higher than last year’s score of 55 that earned the Lady Beavers a trip to Hershey as an at-large team as the runner-up in the Medium Division.
“I’m proud of the girls for making it (to states) in my first year,” said DuBois coach Taylor Schall, who took over the squad prior to this season while simultaneously coaching the school’s gymnastics team. “We’ve had a lot of setbacks with illness and injuries, but they pulled it together to have a good performance today.”
Moniteau’s title came in its first year in the Medium Division. The Lady Warriors placed third in the Small Division last year, capturing a trip to states in the process.
Karns City, which had won two straight Medium Division titles, joins DuBois as an at-large team this year.
The final berth to states from District 9 was captured by Keystone, which won its fourth-straight crown in the Co-Ed Division — where teams must have at least one male member.
Three other area teams competed Saturday. Ridgway led that trio with a score of 67.03. Clarion-Limestone posted a 60.93, while St. Marys had a 58.8.
A total of 120 teams qualify for the PIAA Championships in the four divisions. District 9 has no teams that compete in the Large Varsity Division, where squads feature 21 or more members.
All of those teams will perform their 2 minutes, 30 second routines in the preliminary round at states this Friday at the Giant Center in Hershey. The top 25 percent of all the scores, including ties, advance directly to Saturday’s final round.
The next 25 percent of the scores, including ties, advance to Saturday’s semifinal round, where the team(s) with the top score earns a spot in the finals.
A champion and runner-up will then be crowned in the final in each of the four divisions.
Preliminary round action gets underway Friday at 9 a.m.