If someone were to mention baton twirling, most people know what that is. Across the world you see baton twirlers from the age of three up. Each girl or boy honing their skills of manipulating the baton around the body and tossing it in the air and doing gymnastics before catching it. Shimmering in sequins and always with a smile on their face.
A sport just like any other. It takes training and a lot of practice to do, but especially to win a National Title. We met two young ladies who live in Lubbock who just brought home a National Title in Duet Twirling.
Sixteen year old Kirby Stanek has been twirling since she was five. She is now sixteen and the feature twirler for the Coronado High School Band. Nineteen year old Abby Morgan has been twirling since she was eight and is the feature twirler for the Texas Tech Goin’ Band. Together they are the winners of the latest National Title to be brought home to Lubbock.
Kirby says, “we became really good friends when she came here and decided to do a duet together and it was really fun.”
Their coach and the Texas Tech Twirling Coach, Bethany Tolley tells us the girls worked really hard for the win. “They actually have two different styles of twirling that when they mesh together for the duet it looks really good and that is very hard to do.” Tolley goes on to say, “They did it at state and won and we were like Wow ok so we knew we were going to do it at Nationals then we made it more difficult so they worked pretty much from June until the end of July when we left.”
Both Kirby and Abby say it is worth all the work to get to Nationals. Abby explains, “We traveled to South Bend, Indiana where Notre Dame University is located and it’s held there every year because it’s a huge facility and can hold the thousands of twirlers.” Both girls add that they spend a lot of practice in the gym hot and sweaty but competing is nerve wracking. It was Kirby’s first time doing a duet and just getting used to having a partner out there and not being by yourself. It was nice having each other. And when you watch the girls together you can see the special bond between them. The girls joke and Abby says, “being able to look at her and laugh when she throws the baton at my face”…and Kirby finishes the sentence saying, “A few times not that many times.” Then they both bust out in laughter.
For Kirby, Abby and their coach Bethany Tolley, bringing home one National Title just isn’t enough for them. And a deal is born right there on camera…Abby says, “I’m trying to get her to do an advanced duet which is the highest skill level.” And with confidence Kirby replies, Yeah we’ll do it.” Coach Tolley says, “I think if they put their minds to it I think we should try to qualify for World’s…
World’s would take place in 2021…and I can’t wait to see them achieve the goal!