Baton twirling team's championship hopes put on hold

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LA VISTA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Sue's Stepper-ettes has been to six world championships and walked away as the best in the world three times.

They were set to try for a fourth time in April, but due to COVID-19 they aren't making that trip and aren't even able to practice together right now.

“This was important to this team and that’s what makes me so heartbroken for the girls is that this championship was for them,” said director Sue Foehlinger.

The team was supposed to have a huge sendoff over the weekend, but now it has all been put on hold until August of next year.

“Even though there were a lot of tears that were shed, really right away we kind of decided that we were going to take this as an opportunity so that we’re even more ready when the time comes,” said team member Rachel Foehlinger.

The group has more than 50 members, so right now it isn't safe to practice together. They're all practicing at home and sending in videos via social media.

The hope is that they don't lose any of the progress they've made preparing for the world championships.

“That kind of makes the distance a little bit smaller, but it’s not ever going to be the same as being together physically, and especially with a team as large as ours – it’s just not an easy thing to do, to push these kids and post them in the way that I want to,” said coach Tami Koel.

Right now, The Steppe Center is quiet, but the group can't wait to be back together practicing and ultimately compete for their shot at a world title.

“Whether we come home with a gold medal or not, I think we’re going to feel so good to be even just getting back to practice, let alone we actually get to take that trip. I think we’re going to be very excited to take the floor,” said Rachel Foehlinger.