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Perham Yellowjackets go for state title No. 8 in gymnastics

Seven-time defending champion Perham returns to the state meet with six of the Yellowjackets' gymnasts who competed there last year.

Six additional teams which competed in the 2010 team competition also return: Becker, runner-up; Martin County Area, which includes students from Fairmont, third; New Prague, fourth; Melrose Area, fifth; Delano, seventh; and Breck School of Golden Valley, eighth.

The final qualifying team is Pine Island.

Thirteen of 30 event medal-winners will return for the 2011 Class A individual competition.

Matraca Steen of Martin County Area, who earned runner-up honors last year, is one of two returning competitors in floor exercise.

The other returning medalist is Jessica Stelter of Detroit Lakes, who earned fourth-place honors last year.

Kelsi Vomacka of Perham, third in 2010, leads a field of four returning medal-winners in the uneven bars.

The other returning medalists are: Amy Crawford of Detroit Lakes, fourth; Autumn Robinson of Becker, fifth; and Courtney Jensen of Big Lake, sixth.

In the balance beam competition, three medal-winners return, including defending champion Crawford.

The other returning medalists are: Vomacka, runner-up; and Laura Jore of Big Lake, third.

Carly Petersen of Perham returns to defend her title on the vault.

She will face off against Sydnee Donnelli of Jackson County Central, who placed sixth last year.

Three gymnasts return in the all-around competition: Vomacka, last year's runner-up; Crawford, fifth; and Jensen, sixth.

Class AA Highlights

Northfield, which includes students from Cannon Falls and Randolph, returns as the defending champion.

The Raiders return six gymnasts from last year's team.

In addition to Northfield, four other teams also return from the 2010 field: Roseville Area, runner-up; Cambridge-Isanti, third; St. Cloud Tech, which includes students from St. Cloud Cathedral, fifth; and Rogers, seventh.

The other qualifying teams are Eden Prairie, which includes students from FAIR School in Minneapolis, Park of Cottage Grove, and Wayzata.

Fifteen of 30 event medal-winners in 2010 will return for 2011 Class AA individual competition.

Sabrina Hoover of Rogers returns to defend her title on the beam. Two additional medalists also return: Mariah Miller of St. Cloud Tech, third; and Julia Wolter of Eagan, fifth.

Three medal-winners, including two-time defending champion Natalia Merrifield of Bloomington Jefferson, return in the vault competition.

The other returning medalists are Hoover, who placed fourth, and Leah Robinette of East Ridge of Woodbury, who was fourth in Class A.

Four medal-winners return on the uneven bars: Kellie Dougherty of White Bear Lake Area, runner-up; Hoover, third; Allie Bartholomew of Mahtomedi, fourth; and Terra Klima of Farmington, sixth.

Schedule and tickets

The meet is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26, at the Sports Pavilion on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis.

Team competition is scheduled for Friday, with Class A competition beginning at 11 a.m. and Class AA competition beginning at 6 p.m.

The identical time schedule will be followed for Saturday's individual and all-around events, with Class A beginning in the morning and Class AA beginning in the evening.

Tickets for the meet are available at the Sports Pavilion.

Adult tickets cost $12 per session and student tickets cost $8 per session.