Detroit Lakes gymnasts have easier start to season
It was much more less of a hectic preseason for the Detroit Lakes gymnastics team compared to last year, where the Lakers barely gained a head coach one day before the opening day of practice, which proceeded discussions of even having a varsity squad for the 2008-09 season.
This year's biggest problem?
Trying to pick out leotards for meets.
"For one, assistant coach Cassie Hansana and I know what to expect and we know what we need to work on," said second-year head coach Jenny Whipple, who took over in that capacity a day before the first gymnastics practice. "We know the girls can work on more conditioning, too."
This year's obstacles pales in comparison to the 2008-09 team had to vault and it's already showing in morale.
The Lakers were still highly-competitive last season, winning the majority of their meets and sending three to the Class 1A state meet in sophomore Jess Stelter, senior Kristi Hoppert and junior Amy Crawford.
Also returning with varsity experience is freshman Abby Einerson and sophomore Natalie Hoffert.
Each of Stelter and Crawford qualified for state in all-around, while Hoppert made it on bars.
"The skills for each of the three have increased over last year and their routines are better," Whipple said. "They are just focusing on cleaner routines this season."
There is a good mix of young gymnasts coming up through the ranks, as well, thus providing the necessary depth needed in meets.
"The older girls know their skills and are also there for morale support for the younger girls," Whipple included. "It should be another good year if we can stay away from injury."
The Lakers, of course, have to contend with Perham -- which has won the last six Class 1A state championships -- in Section 8-1A.
The DL team also has a new spotter in Joe Lindgaard to help out during the season.
The season opens at home inside the Flyers Gymnastic facility Tuesday against visiting Frazee.
Detroit Lakes gymnastics 2009-10 schedule:
5 at Perham
10 Jamestown, N.D.
15 at Bemidji
18 Park Rapids
21 at St. Cloud Apollo
5 at Moorhead
9 at Fargo North
15 at Becker
30 at Becker (State True Team)
9 at Park Rapids
13 Mid-State meet at Perham
20 Section meet
26-27 State meet.