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Laker gymnasts score their season best

The bar has been set, and it's one which the Detroit Lakes gymnastics team wants to eclipse, starting in 2011.

After finishing their 2010 portion of the schedule, the Lakers improved by five full points, marking a 139 to cap December in their final two meets.

With the losses of 2009-10 state gymnasts Natalie Hoffert and Bre Halbur, the youthful Laker gymnasts are rising to the occasion, as is apparent by the 139 scores.

"These are middle school kids and they are doing fantastic," said DL head coach Steve Zamzo.

It's not like the Lakers don't also have some top-heavy hitters, either.

Senior Amy Crawford currently holds the state top average score on beam with a 9.6 and fourth on bars with a 9.35.

Junior Jess Stelter also holds a couple top five state rankings with her 9.525 on vault and second on floor with a 9.6.

"Amy is just looking comfortable on beam, but still has a couple of bobbles, so there is still room for improvement," Zamzo said. "Jess and Amy have been outstanding on vault, too."

The Lakers capped their 2010 schedule with a 139.05 to 102.9 victory in Park Rapids Thursday.

DL swept pretty much every event with top four finishes, including all-around with Crawford scoring a 36.7 and Stelter in second at 36.6.

Jordyn Peterson was third at 33.2, Ally Berg fourth with a 32.0 and Maddie Hoffert was fifth with a 30.95.

Winning events were Crawford, taking three (vault, bars and beam) and Stelter, tops on floor with a 9.1.

"The girls were still a little disappointed with their performance, just because there were a couple of falls," the DL coach said. "The score definitely could have been higher."

Zamzo also credited Peterson for having a nice meet, after competing in all four events and scoring an 8.75 on beam.

"Overall on beam, we had one fall, so that's huge for us," Zamzo said.

The Lakers also hosted Bemidji Tuesday inside the Flyers Gymnastics facility, winning 139.4 to 125.525, which was a five-point improvement over their last meet from the week before.

"Everyone was on," Zamzo said.

Stelter and Crawford each were big on vault, with the former marking a 9.25 and the latter a 9.4.

Crawford finished with a first-place score on beam with a 9.3, while Stelter had a 9.25.

The duo also hit 9.0's on the bars, with Crawford finishing with a 9.35 and Stelter a 9.0.

Maddie Hoffert, Natalie's younger sister, also is progressing nicely, Zamzo commented.

"You can see the confidence in her, and it just keeps growing with every meet. She is displaying some impressive leadership as an eighth grader."

Claire Nelmark, Ally Berg and Peterson also had top performances.

Now after hitting for their season high twice, the next step is obviously climbing up into the 140's.

"Not many teams in the state are hitting over 142," Zamzo said. "Scoring in the 140's has been a staple for DL gymnastics for quite some time."

The Lakers will have the rest of December off and resume Tuesday, Jan. 4, when they visit Fargo.

"We'll rest up, heal up and clean up," Zamzo said of what the Lakers will focus on during their three-week sabbatical.

Laker results

Detroit Lakes at Park Rapids, Thursday, Dec. 16.

Lakers 139.05, Panthers 102.9

DL event results -- Vault: 1. Amy Crawford 9.4; 2. Jessica Stelter 9.25; 3. Ally Berg 9.0; 5. Jordyn Peterson 8.2; 6. Maddie Hoffert 8.1...Bars: 1. Crawford 9.35; 2. Stelter 9.0; 3. Peterson 7.8; 4. Berg 7.4; 6. Hoffert 6.8...Beam: 1. Crawford 9.3; 2. Stelter 9.25; 3. Peterson 8.75; 5. Berg 7.6; 6. Hoffert 7.5...Floor: 1. Stelter 9.1; 2. Crawford 8.65; 3. Hoffert 8.55; 5. Peterson 8.45; 5. Berg 8.0...All-around: 1. Crawford 36.7; 2. Stelter 36.6; 3. Peterson 33.2; 4. Berg 32.0; 5. Hoffert 30.95.

Junior varsity results

Panthers 85.35, Lakers 85.05

DL event results -- Vault: 2. Claire Nelmark 8.0; 5. Sarah Schumacher 7.8; t-6. Katie Crawford and Hanna Brady 7.6...Bars: 1. Nelmark 6.35; 2. K. Crawford 5.75; 4. Okeson 4.2; 6. Brady 4.15...Beam: 1. Morgan Eiter 7.5; 2. K. Crawford 6.2; 4. Okeson 5.4...Floor: 1. Okeson 7.3; 2. K. Crawford 6.8...All-around: 1. K. Crawford 26.35; 2. Okeson 24.9.

Bemidji at Detroit Lakes, Tuesday, Dec. 14.

Lakers 139.4

Lumberjacks 125.525

DL event results -- Floor: 1. Jess Stelter 9.1; 2. Amy Crawford 9.075; 3. Maddie Hoffert 8.425; 4. Ally Berg 9.375...Beam: 1. Crawford 9.55; 2. Stelter 8.9; 3. Jordyn Peterson 8.775; 5. Hoffert 8.3...Bars: 1. Stelter 9.0; 2. Crawford 8.825; 3. Berg 7.90; 6. Hoffert 7.20...Vault: 1. Stelter 9.525; 2. Crawford 9.225; 3. Berg 8.975...All-around: 1. Crawford 36.675; 2. Stelter 36.525; 3. Berg 32.45; 4. Hoffert 32.175.

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