The last 10 months have been quite a ride for St. Thomas Aquinas sophomore Savannah Miller.
Back in April at the 2012 World Baton Twirling Championships in Neuchatel, Switzerland, she competed for the USA World Twirling Team. She won gold in 1-baton solo, 2-baton solo and rhythmic, a freestyle routine.
Then on Feb. 3 at William Jewell College in Liberty, Miller dominated the ninth National High School Baton Twirling Championships. She won every event and was named the 2013 overall high school champion.
“I have had many amazing experiences over the years,” she said. “My most successful and favorite was last year in Switzerland at the World Championships. Winning the gold for all three of my events and getting to meet so many people from around the world was something I will never forget.”
The Saints sophomore got her start in baton twirling when she was just 3.
“My mom took me to a dance class at Heidi’s Dance Center in Riverside,” she said. “They stuck batons in our hands and it just kind of stuck.”
She knows the keys to her success.
“Hard work, dedication, love for the sport of baton twirling and lots and lots of practice,” she said.
The people at Aquinas agree.
“I would tell you that no one works harder at their craft than Savannah,” athletic director Sarah Burgess said. “She has her batons with her 24/7 and when she can squeeze an extra 10 or 15 minutes of gym time in either before basketball or volleyball practice begins in the afternoon, or before school starts in the morning, she is practicing the baton.
“She is a kind girl with a caring and big heart. As talented as she is, she is also very humble. She’s just a tremendous talent and super nice young lady.”
Band director John Burgess said, “Savannah is extremely dedicated, motivated and passionate about her activities at Aquinas, whether it be in the role of student, twirler or dancer. She always displays a friendly personality. She gets along great with kids.”
Miller is not just a baton twirler at Aquinas.
“I am a member of the varsity dance team at St. Thomas Aquinas,” she said. “I’m on the track team and still maintain a 4.0 grade point average.”
Miller has plans for the future.
“I want to twirl in college and eventually become either a judge for the sport or a coach,” she said.