A local cheer and dance team has won a national championship, the first from New Hampshire to do so.
The Knockouts, part of the Keene-based Northern Lights All Stars program, learned Wednesday night via live webcast that it had claimed the national Senior Level 1 division title, the biggest prize from a three-round competition pitting top qualifying teams from across the country.
The U.S. Finals Championship Challenge begins with teams competing at one of eight regional locations across the country.
The Knockouts performed in Providence, R.I., on May 4, where they placed first in their division. The win advanced the team to Round 2, where the competition then becomes virtual. A video of the team’s routine is judged against all Senior Level 1 teams from the Providence competition. Senior Level 1 includes small, medium and Division 1 and 2 teams.
The Knockouts made it through this round to the final round, where the video of their routine was then judged against the top winners from the other seven regional competitions.
The Knockouts prevailed against the top teams emerging from competitions in Louisville, Chicago, Kansas City, Pensacola, Fla., Virginia Beach, Dallas and Las Vegas.
Two other Northern Lights entries made it to finals: True Blue, Junior 2 and High Voltage, Youth 1.
Members of the Knockouts are: Katlin Alley, Jasmine Benavides, Jessi Cunningham, Kiera Garcia, Leila Gonzalez, Lily Hart-Connor, Cooper Huot, Mackenzie Inkel, Natalie LeClair, Sydney Leventry, Joselyn Lucius, Skylar Lutz, Mackenzie McCord, Nataleigh McKeen, Makayla Parrott, Sara Perrin, Aurora Perry, Raven Perry, Lydia Redman, Ashlyn Soteres, Kayleigh Stickney, Kylan Stone, Jewelianna Thompson, Chloe Wakefield and McKena Whitney.
The Northern Lights facility is owned by Megan Primrose and Linda Lawton.