Lakeville North Lake Liners make first ever state final appearance

Lakeville North finished in the top six teams in Class 3A

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Photo by Nick Kelly

Nick Kelly and Katie Harff, Staff Writers

Following a four-year absence from the state dance tournament, the Lakeville North Lake Liners did more than make the trip

The Lake Liners made history.

The 2016 Lake Liners made it to finals in jazz, the first team in the history of Lakeville North High School in either kick and jazz to do so. Lakeville North finished in the top six, but did not receive a medal.

The thing that set this Lake Liners team apart: they didn’t hope to make it to state. They planned on it.

Lakeville North created a countdown to state on the board in its studio, and added yells such as “state” and “finals” to its routine in recent weeks.

“It was just to remind everyone what our goal was,” senior captain Abbie Pakkala said.

Pakkala has had a goal of making it to state since her freshman year of high school, and she never lost sight of it.

“It is a dream come true,” Pakkala said.

Because this is the first year for every 2016 Lake Liner to dance on the state floor, nerves were expected. But, Lakeville North clearly didn’t struggle too much with them, performing a finals-worthy routine.

“Our coaches always tell us, ‘you’re the same team, but you’re in a different place,” Pakkala said. “That really helped (calm our nerves).”

Their aspirations were greater than their nerves.

“We had all been dreaming of this day,” Pakkala said. “I know I have been (dreaming of it) since my freshman year.”

Determination played a big role in the Lake Liners success this season.  Since the start of the season, the team practiced six days a week, and had a six hour practice once.

Although the continuous practice tired many Lake Liners, it was worth it to Lakeville North because it produced the one thing no one had ever earned: a spot in the state finals.

“I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Pakkala said