Is it too early to call the Belvidere North cheerleading program a dynasty?
After placing second in state in 2016, the Blue Thunder have rattled off three straight championships in the Co-Ed Division, including Saturday’s impressive showing in Bloomington.
North performed to a score of 96.63 to top second-place Plainfield South (93.43) and complete the “3-Peat.” The Blue Thunder’s score was the best of any of the 40 schools competing in the four categories of Saturday’s finals.
North Boone placed third in the Small Team division with a score of 85.16, behind champ Wilmington (87.69) and second place Dwight (85.40). Lutheran, the defending Small Team state champ, placed ninth at 79.09.
And in the Large Team division, Harlem finished ninth at 85.12. Lincoln Way-East was the champ at 91.56.
East rolled over North 63-42 on Friday to improve to 14-0 in the NIC-10. They maintained their four-game lead over second-place Harlem, meaning the E-Rabs have clinched a conference co-championship at worst. It marks the first league title for East since they won the NIC-9 in 1981.
The E-Rabs have games with Belvidere (1-12), Harlem (9-4), Auburn (8-5) and Hononegah (7-6) remaining.
In regional action, defending state champ Harlem began it’s run toward a third straight state title and eighth overall with a resounding 600-plus pins victory in Saturday’s Hononegah Regional.
The Huskies tallied 6,161 pins to easily outdistance second-place Freeport (5,456). Now those two teams, along with East (5,300) and Hononegah (5,171), advance to next Saturday’s Jefferson Sectional at Don Carter Lanes in Rockford.
Harlem’s Rebecca Hagerman, the defending state individual champ, took top honors at the regional with a 1,304 total over six games.
And Belvidere will also advance to the Jefferson Sectional after winningthe Dundee-Crown Regional with a pinfall of 5,416.
And in the Sycamore Regional, Sycamore, Dixon and Oregon all advanced to sectionals after placing first, third and fourth respectively.