SHS junior brings home first place at national competition

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 13, 2019

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Straughn High School junior Tristin Williamson recently attended the 2019 National Baton Twirling Association National and World Open Championship at the University of Notre Dame.

She competed in the USA and World Open Solo competition, bringing home first place for her age division.

Williamson is currently the USA and World Open title-holder, as well as the NBTA South Regional Solo and X-Strut title-holder for her age division.

After watching videos online, Williamson knew that she could be a baton twirler, as well.

“I saw people online doing it and thought that it was pretty cool,” Williamson said. “I’ve been twirling since sixth grade and competing since I was in the eighth grade.”

Williamson found out about the competitions from her old coach.

“One of my old coaches introduced me to competitions,” Williamson said. “Once I kind of outgrew her, I started going to a coach in Pensacola. I slowly started working my way up to state and regional competitions. I started placing in those competitions and that qualified me for national competitions.”

Marching band is something that Williamson looks forward to.

“I am really looking forward to the fact that we have a Disney show this year,” Williamson said. “I’m excited to be dancing with these big roses that we have and double fly batons. I am really looking forward to this season altogether.”

The best part of twirling to Williamson is being able to get all of her frustrations out.

“If I get mad I can just take it out on the baton,” Williamson said. “But when I am twirling I feel like I am just graceful and flying.”

Williamson said she was not expecting to place at the national competition.

“It feels really amazing to win,” Williamson said. “I mean this is the first time that I competed in it. Most people don’t win until their like third or fourth time competing. Once I got home, I was congratulated by everyone in the Straughn community and it felt nice.”

After graduation, Williamson plans on auditioning for Auburn University, the University of Mississippi and Florida State University.