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No. 1 Perham downs No. 2 Lakers in gymnastics showdown

Detroit Lakes' Amy Crawford performs on bars Friday. (Brian Basham/DL Newspapers)

Nothing was decided in the battle between the top two Class 1A gymnastics teams in the state, but there was proof on display that the Section 8-1A meet will be a spectacular one.

The No. 1 Perham Yellowjackets downed the No. 2 Detroit Lakes squad 147.025 to 145.025 inside the Minnesota Flyers Gymnastics facility Friday.

The deciding factor came on vault, where Perham landed the top spot with Satera Montella's 9.4 and followed by three more 9.1's or better.

On the flipside, the Laker's Amy Crawford was second with a 9.3, but DL didn't score anything above an 8.5 after her.

"The beam is usually where we make it or break it," Crawford said. "But I know we all can get better on it."

"We had two falls on beam and just have room for improvement there," added DL head coach Jennifer Whipple.

Crawford added a first-place finish on bars with a 9.225, while taking top honors in all-around with a combined score of 37.225.

Jessica Stelter won two events for DL, as well, which included floor (9.55) and vault (9.6).

With already one win over Perham earlier this season in the books for DL, the close meet Friday just reinforces the Lakers are within striking distance of the six-time state champions.

"We are close, we had a few falls and it really just came down to beam," Stelter said. "The more work we can put on it, the more confident we will get. We beat (Perham) once, I think we can do it again."

Although the rivalry throughout the years between the two teams is a highly-competitive one during the meets, it's more than friendly off.

"The girls get along very well and cheer for each other, so although it's sort of a rivalry, it's a friendly one," Whipple said. "They are really supportive of each other."

Perham's Kelsi Vomacka scored a silver in all-around with a 37.0, while taking second on bars at 9.2, third on vault at 9.475 and second on floor at 9.5.

The Lakers will see the Yellowjackets again Saturday in Becker for the State True Team meet.

The two teams will again see each other for the Mid-State Conference competition, then for the last time in the Section 8-1A meet -- something in which Perham has won six years in a row, which in turn has led to their current streak of state championships.

"The girls know they have areas they need to improve on," Whipple said. "They now want to break the 146 mark and have a good meet in the State True Team."

Laker results

Perham at Detroit Lakes, Friday, Jan. 27

Yellowjackets 147.025

Lakers 145.025

DL event results -- Vault: 1. Jessica Stelter 9.65; 2. Kristi Hoppert 9.5; 5. Amy Crawford 9.425; Natalie Hoffert 9.325; Kyley Foster 8.75...Bars: 1. Crawford 9.225; 5. Hoffert 8.95; Hoppert 8.875; Stelter 8.725; Foster 8.15...Beam: 2. Crawford 9.3; Hoppert 8.7; Stelter 8.475; Hoffert 8.175; Foster 7.65...Floor: 1. Stelter 9.55; 4. Crawford 9.275; 5. Hoppert 9.225; Hoffert 8.65; Foster 8.275...All-around: 1. Crawford 37.225; 4. Stelter 36.4; 6. Hoppert 36.3; 9. Hoffert 35.1; 10. Foster 32.825.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.