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MFG qualifies 7 for the USGA State Meet in Cities

The MFG state gymnasts are (L to R) front row: Molly Lyngaas and Justine Lawrence. Middle row: Jackson Hegg, Lexy Yliniemi and Kennedy Hegg. Back row: Emily Smith and Peyton Jernberg, Photo by Jen Smith

There will be six Minnesota Flyer gymnasts competing in the USAG State Meet, which will be held March 21-23, at the Colin Powell Center in Minneapolis.

The theme for the Flyers at state will be “34 or more”, which is the mark they are all shooting for their score, so they can move on to the Regional Championships.

Kicking off the MFG state performances will be Level 9 Justine Lawrence, who will compete Saturday, while teammate Molly Lyngaas will follow.

The Level 8 competitors will include Jackson and Kennedy Hegg, Emily Smith and Lexy Yliminie, who will all go Sunday.

Peyton Jernberg qualified for state, but can’t compete due to a broken hand.

A score of 34 or better is needed to advance to the Level 8-10 Regional Championships, which are April 10-13, in Fargo.

At the Regions, if the Level 9 gymnasts place in the top 12 in their respective age categories, they will move on to the Western National meet, which will be held in Boise, Idaho.

The biggest challenge, though, will be the loss of MFG head coach/trainer Sith Hansana, who may miss the state meet after having surgery on his Achilles tendon.

Leesa Lindgaard has coached in place of Hansana and is a calming presence for the gymnasts.

In the state qualifying meet in Grand Forks last weekend, all seven qualifiers stuck their vaults, while sticking every beam routine.

The MFG will be hosting a state sendoff for the gymnasts Thursday from 7-7:30 p.m. at the Flyers facility in Detroit Lakes.