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Gillian Brooks Named Next Blue Sapphire Twirler

One of the most exciting halftime traditions at Penn State is the performance of the featured twirler, also known as the Blue Sapphire. Rachel Reiss has been Penn State’s featured twirler for the past four years, but she’s expected to graduate this semester.

After holding auditions to select Reiss’s replacement, the Blue Band named incoming freshman Gillian Brooks the next Blue Sapphire. Brooks is a senior at Walled Lake Western High School in Michigan, where she’s been a majorette since 2015.

Although she hasn’t even graduated from high school yet, Brooks is no stranger to the spotlight. She’s been recognized as a nine-time national two-baton champion and a three-time national three-baton champion, according to her college twirling audition tape.

She’s also a six-time national strut champion and the 2013 grand national twirling champion. She’s competed on the National Baton Twirling Association’s Team USA and earned four bronze medals at the world twirling competition.

You can catch Brooks on the field Beaver Stadium this fall — she’ll be the one with the baton. Congratulations and good luck, Gillian!

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa was the managing editor of Onward State from 2017-2019. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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