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Laker gymnasts cap 2009 off with a bang

DETROIT LAKES - The 2009 portion of the Detroit Lakes gymnastics' schedule was capped with the Laker's best meet of the season yet, after they scored a 145.975 in a convincing duel win over Park Rapids Friday inside the Flyers Gymnastics facility.

Different Lakers have taken turns throughout the young season as featured gymnasts and Friday it was sophomore Natalie Hoffert's turn.

Hoffert finished first in two events, including the uneven bars with a 9.1 and tied with teammate Amy Crawford on beam with a 9.4.

"I've seen a lot of improved from all the gymnasts," said DL head coach Jenny Whipple. "Kyley Foster had very clean routines and she was consistent. After our last meet, we just wanted the girls to go out and have fun and not rush their routines."

Junior Amy Crawford maintained her consistent pace by winning the all-around with a combined score of 36.8.

The Lakers took the top five spots in all-around over Park Rapids and finished in the top five slots in every event, but one.

The vault was a key event, with four of the five Lakers notching a 9.0 or higher, led by first-place senior Kristi Hoppert with a 9.45.

The beam is also seeing improvement by DL, with three of five taking 9.0 scores or better, including Jessica Stelter, who took third with a 9.25 behind Hoffert and Crawford.

DL will have the next two weeks off during the holiday break, but will not rest on their laurels after a great start to the season.

"We're going to push their skills harder during practices and also work on their conditioning," Whipple added.

The goal in Friday's meet by the team was to hit a 246, in which they came just .25 of a point from doing.

So that will be the next step come January.

"We still have plenty to work on to increase that score," Whipple concluded.

Laker results

Park Rapids at Detroit Lakes, Friday, Dec. 18.

Lakers 145.975

Panthers 112.8

DL event results -- Vault: 1. Kristi Hoppert 9.45; 2. Jessica Stelter 9.425; 3. Amy Crawford 9.4; 4. Natalie Hoffert 9.0; 6. Kyley Foster 8.35...Bars: 1. Hoffert 9.1; 2. Crawford 9.05; 3. Hoppert 8.95; 4. Stelter 8.4; 5. Foster 8.25...Beam: 1. Hoffert and Crawford 9.4; 3. Stelter 9.25; 4. Hoppert 8.7; 5. Foster 8.1...Floor: 1. Stelter 9.35; 2. Hoffert 9.1; 3. Hoppert 9.05; 4. Crawford 8.95; 5. Foster 8.8...All-around: 1. Crawford36.8; 2. Hoffert 36.6; 3. Stelter 36.425; 4. Hoppert 36.15; 5. Foster 33.5.