Local baton twirlers head to national competition

REDDING, Calif. - A Redding baton twirling team is heading to a national competition next week. The Buckeye Cuties are a group of baton twirlers that will compete in team and individual events on July 7 in Stockton.

Team members have been practicing four times a week for the last three weeks. They even had a dance instructor come in and choreograph a special routine for the different age groups. They will compete against hundreds of other teams and individuals in events next week.

Team member Alyssa Steenbergen said "I think my team will do well, we just have to work together. The hardest thing is going to be working together because we're all very original." She has been on the team for three years and is excited to be competing in several events.

Coach Irene Mazzini has been competing in or coaching baton twirling since she was in high school. She teaches the girls teamwork, sportsmanship and hopes they can learn confidence and responsibility in addition to new tricks with the batons.

"People don't understand how many things are involved, they must have a background, they must have some gymnastics skills to be competitive." said Mazzini.

The teams head to Stockton July 7. The competition concludes on July 12.

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