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No. 3 Detroit Lakes gymnasts storm over Spuds

If the season started out with distractions, they are far behind the Detroit Lakes gymnastics team now.

The No. 3 ranked Class 1A Lakers rolled into their second half of the season with their best performance yet, scoring a 142.575 Tuesday to topple visiting Moorhead, which finished with a 129.75.

"We are doing better than we expected," said senior captain Courtney Einerson. "It's been great having big crowds watching us, that's been a big encouragement for the team.

"We are very happy with our 142 and we're not far behind Becker, which is ranked No. 2."

After much uncertainty at the start of the season about if there was even going to be a Laker gymnastics team, the gymnasts have bolted out to a hot start.

The Lakers were down to just four gymnasts over the holiday break, but still managed to accumulate two more meet wins.

The first came against Park Rapids two weeks ago, with DL winning 140.05 to 121.45.

DL then traveled to Sauk Rapids-Rice for a triangular Dec. 23, coming out on top with a mark of 139.375.

"We had three meets in a row with just four gymnasts because of injury, and they all did a good job," said DL head coach Jenny Whipple. "Now we have everyone back and having a week of practice (over the break), instead of just meets, really helped the girls."

Tuesday, Jessica Stelter won the all-around with a 36.125. In fact, the top five places belonged to Lakers, with Kristi Hoppert in second, followed by Einerson, Amy Crawford and Shayna Dugger.

DL hit one of their goals on vault, with four Lakers hitting a 9.0 or better.

They were led by Stelter with 9.4, while Crawford landed a 9.3, Hoppert a 9.25 and Einerson a 9.1.

"We are working on cleaning everything up now, and we know there is a lot of room for improvement," Einerson said. "None of us are looking back at what happened (before the season), we are all looking ahead."

One key to the season has been the success on beam, where Einerson won Tuesday with a 9.25. Hoppert was second with a 9.1.

"The beam is coming along well," Whipple said.

Other Laker event winners were Hoppert on bars with a 9.225, and Stelter taking floor with a 9.25.

The Lakers will travel to North High School Saturday for an 11 a.m. start.

Laker results

Moorhead at Detroit Lakes, Tuesday, Jan. 6.

Lakers 142.575

Spuds 129.75

DL event results -- All-around: 1. Jessica Stelter 36.125; 2. Kristi Hoppert 35.725; 3. Courtney Einerson 35.424; 4. Amy Crawford 34.625; 5. Shayna Dugger 33.225...Vault: 1. Stelter 9.4; 2. Crawford 9.3; 3. Hoppert 9.25; 4. Einerson 9.1; 8. Dugger 8.3...Bars: 1. Hoppert 9.225; 2. Einerson 8.925; 3. Stelter 8.625; 4. Crawford 8.525; 6. Dugger 7.7...Beam: 1. Einerson 8.9; 2. Stelter 8.85; 3. Dugger 8.75; 4. Crawford; 8. Hoppert 8.15...Floor: 1. Stelter 9.25; 2. Hoppert 9.1; 5. Einerson 8.5; 6. Dugger 8.475; t-7. Crawford 8.4.