ShowTwirlers win national titles

The ShowTwirlers Competitive Team of Altoona is celebrating another successful trip to the Midwest for national competition.

More than 30 twirlers, plus their coaches, spent the final week of July competing in team and individual events at America’s Youth on Parade held at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.

AYOP is the national championships of the National Baton Twirling Association.

In team competition, the ShowTwirlers won first place in the Small Beginner Juvenile Twirl Team category.

In the Beginner Dance Twirl categories, all ShowTwirler teams finished in the top 10.

Six of eight ShowTwirlers advanced teams placed in the top five of their first round competition to earn a spot in the highly competitive team finals, making for one of their most successful showings to date.

In individual events at AYOP, the ShowTwirlers earned nearly 100 medals for top 10 finishes in solo, two-baton, three-baton, X-strut, duet, show twirl and flag twirling.

Of those awards, nearly a quarter were national first-place awards.

The selection of Team USA for the upcoming world championships was a highlight of the 2017 Nationals.

Based on his performance at Notre Dame, judges chose Bower Sarra of Huntingdon County to compete in Norway this spring in one-baton, two-baton and rhythmic solos. It is the third time that Bower will represent the ShowTwirlers in world competition, having previously twirled in Switzerland and Italy.

The high placements at nationals capped another successful year for the ShowTwirlers, after first-place sweeps in team competition at both the state and regional levels last spring.

The ShowTwirlers are coached by Pam Maierhofer, PJ Burkin, Jonathan Burkin and Julie Storm.

The assistant coach is Kayla Irvin.