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DL Gymnastics: Lakers under transition

Despite it being quite early in the season, the Detroit Lakes gymnastics team is under transition for a couple of different reasons.

The first came in the first meet of the season, when junior Natalie Hoffert was lost for the season after injuring her leg on a vault attempt.

That was followed by the news that state vault runner-up Bre Halbur will not return due to an injury, thus losing two state qualifiers from a year ago.

Add in the change of scoring this season, and the Lakers are undergoing some transition, even with state beam champion Amy Crawford and state qualifier Jess Stelter back in the mix.

"It's been frustrating for the older gymnasts," said DL head coach Steve Zamzo. "With those four gymnasts coming back, there were some high expectations, and with all of them, they probably could have given Perham a good run."

But as it is, one lost opportunity opens the door for another.

A host of younger gymnasts are being asked to fill the two big voids left by Halbur and Hoffert, and they are stepping up to the challenge, Zamzo said.

"Their confidence level has exploded and they are showing how eager they are to compete on the varsity level," the DL coach added. "It's been a real surprise how well they have handled themselves."

Also with the challenge of adapting to the new USGA type of scoring, the Lakers are looking at a higher ceiling for improving on their scores of 134.

DL notched another 134.05 Thursday, in a loss to Jamestown, N.D., which scored a 137.45.

"We are planning on scoring around a 134, but it was still a little lower than what was expected," Zamzo said. "If everyone is on, I think we should be scoring in the high 130's or low 140's."

Stelter won the all-around division with a score of 36.6, after winning the vault with a 9.1, bars with a 9.0 and floor with a 9.6.

Crawford made it a full DL sweep of first-place finishes by landing a meet-best on beam with a 9.05. Crawford finished third in the all-around with a 34.65.

The younger gymnasts also did well, as Maddie Hoffert, Claire Nelmark, Katie Crawford, Ally Berg, Hannah Okeson and Jordyn Peterson each played their roles by starting to score some valuable points for the Lakers.

"Everyone has their skills down, all they need to do now is just clean them up a little," Zamzo said.

"Their execution needs to be tight and clean."

The Lakers also finished third in the Perham Jackie Mann Invite, Saturday, Dec. 4.

Amy Crawford won beam with a 9.6, while Stelter was sixth in the all-around with a 36.35.

The Lakers will host Bemidji Tuesday inside the Flyers Gymnastics facility at 6 p.m. and will travel to Park Rapids Thursday for a 6:30 p.m. start.

Laker results

Detroit Lakes at Jamestown, N.D., Thursday, Dec. 9.

Jamestown 137.45,

Lakers 134.05

DL results -- Vault: 1. Jess Stelter 9.1; t-4. Amy Crawford 8.7; 8. Maddie Hoffert 8.4; t-9. Claire Nelmark and Ally Berg 8.3...Bars: 1. Stelter 9.0; 6. Hoffert 7.7; t-8. Amy Crawford 7.5; 11. Nelmark 7.3; 13. Berg 6.65...Beam: 1. Crawford 9.05; 2. Stelter 8.9; 9. Berg 7.0; 12. Katie Crawford 6.4; 13. Hoffert 6.3...Floor: 1. Stelter 9.6; t-2. A. Crawford 9.4; t-4. Berg 9.1; t-7. Hannah Okeson 8.6; 9. Hoffert 8.4...All-around: 1. Stelter 36.6; 3. A. Crawford 34.65; 9. Berg 31.050.

Detroit Lakes at Perham Mann Invite, Saturday, Dec. 4.

Team results: Perham 146.100, Cambridge-Isanti 142.2, Detroit Lakes 134.3, Bismarck 134.15, St. Cloud Apollo 130.3, Minnetonka 130.15, Elk River 129.5, Bismarck Century 125.55.

DL results -- Floor: 4. Amy Crawford 9.2; 11. Jess Stelter 8.85; t-23. Jordyn Peterson 8.2; 33. Madeline Hoffert 7.8; 36. Allison Berg 7.2...Balance beam: 1. A. Crawford 9.6; 6. Stelter 9.25; 13. Peterson 8.7; 26. Hoffert 7.85; 35. Berg 6.8...Vault: 5. Stelter 9.15; 13. Berg 8.4; 22. Hoffert 8.1; 23. Peterson 8.05; 24. A. Crawford 8.0...All-around: 6. Stelter 36.35; 12. A. Crawford 35.55; 35. Hoffert 6.8; 37. Peterson 31.45; 38. Berg 28.6.

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