Weather Forecast


Laker trio makes state

DL senior Jess Stelter takes a leap during her beam routine Saturday. She qualified for state in all-around, vault and bars.1 / 2
laker senior Natalie Hoffert reacts to a stellar landing during her bars routine for the Section 8-1A meet Saturday in Fergus Falls. Hoffert qualified for state in three events, including the vault, bars and floor.2 / 2

Despite a season with a lineup resembling a M.A.S.H. unit, the Detroit Lakes gymnastics team still came as close as it has in 10 years to dethroning eight-time state champion Perham.

But unfortunately for the Lakers, it was close, yet did not result in a victory.

The Yellowjackets won the Section 8-1A meet for the tenth straight year by nipping DL 144.7 to 142.4 in Fergus Falls Saturday.

The Class 1A state gymnastics meet will be Friday and Saturday at the University of Minnesota's Sports Pavilion.

The team competition will be Friday, starting at 11 a.m. for Class 1A and 6 p.m. for Class 2A.

The individual portion will be Saturday, with Class 1A starting at 11 a.m. and Class 2A at 6 p.m.

Although the Lakers were disappointed in the final team outcome, they still will send three to the Class 1A state individual meet -- seniors Natalie Hoffert and Jessica Stelter, along with first-time state qualifier, seventh grader Thia Olds.

For both the Laker seniors, they know how to perform through the pain of a long gymnastics season.

Hoffert caps a remarkable rehab time frame after she fractured her ankle during the 2010-11 season opener.

Long hours rehabbilitating physically and mentally did pay off, though, as Hoffert earned three state berths on vault, bars and floor.

"Coming off of last year's injury, I'm just happy to make it back to state," Hoffert said. "I wasn't expecting to make it in three events, because I was looking out for the team more."

But Hoffert kept getting stronger from around the midpoint of the season, and she was able to land a 9.4 on floor for third, a 9.25 on bars for third and a 9.25 on vault, which was the event she broke her ankle on over a year ago.

"The biggest part coming back from my injury was mentally," Hoffert said.

"I just want to be remembered for being able to come back after being hurt."

Hoffert's goal is to make the podium Saturday, an accomplishment which would put an exclamation point on her hard work the last year and a half.

Stelter also battled with injuries this season, but that couldn't stop her from qualifying in all-around for the third straight year.

The Laker senior also will contend on state bars after finishing fourth with a 9.15, and in vault, where she finished third with a 9.275.

"I started off well and I thought I finished fine, too," Stelter said. "I just tried to step it up for the team more, but we did well for how many injuries we were dealing with.

"I really appreciate the younger girls' effort, it was fun competing with them."

Stelter wants to finish her prep career on the podium, as well, and there is one event which will be key, she said.

"If I can stick beam, I can potentially get up on the podium (in all-around)," she added.

Stelter finished with an 8.9 on beam in the section meet, while taking a 9.15 for fifth on floor.

Her all-around score of 36.625 was good for third.

On her 14th birthday, Olds gifted herself a first-ever state berth with a third-place finish on beam, after earning a 9.45.

Olds has been a top-three performer for the Lakers -- despite missing almost a year with a knee injury -- and she peaked with her beam routine Saturday.

"I thought I was ready for (beam), but I was a little nervous," Olds said.

"I was struggling with my series leading up (to the section), but I did well with it (Saturday)."

Little Falls' Rachelle Leblanc won the all-around section title with 37.325 points, while Satera Montella of Perham took the floor (9.625), vault (9.425) and beam (9.575).

Perham's Carly Brietenfeldt won bars with a 9.425.

Laker results

Section 8-1A gymnastics meet in Fergus Falls, Saturday, Feb. 18.

Team results -- Perham 144.7, Detroit Lakes 142.4, Bemidji 132.425, Little Falls 129.625, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 118.825, Park Rapids 110.9, Frazee 93.425, Fergus Falls 81.0.

DL results (*state qualifier) -- All-around: *3. Jessica Stelter 36.625; 5. Natalie Hoffert 35.7; 6. Thia Olds 35.65...Floor: *3. Hoffert 9.4; 5. Stelter 9.15; 9. Olds 8.7; 14. Abbie Einerson 8.4; 24. Hannah Okeson 7.2...Beam: *3. Olds 9.45; 6. Stelter 8.9; 7. Jordyn Peterson 8.8; 12. Hoffert 7.9; 13. Katie Crawford 7.7...Bars: *3. Hoffert 9.25; *4. Stelter 9.15; 6. Olds 8.825; 8. Peterson 8.5; 12. Leah Chavez 8.0...Vault: *3. Stelter 9.275; *4. Hoffert 9.25; 9. Olds 8.775; 11. Okeson 8.625; 21. Chavez 8.375.

Frazee event results -- All-around: 19. Montana Osterman 25.95; 20. Morgan Lane 23.925...Floor: 31. Lane 6.6; 32. Osterman 6.5; 34. Hailey Ellingson-Wirth 6.3; 37. Kirsten Tollefson 5.9; 38. Cassidy Ziegler 5.85...Beam: 33. Sabrina Youngs 5.6; 34. Osterman 5.55; 36. Lane 5.1; 37. Ziegler 4.7; 38. Kiara Dekarske 4.1...Bars: 30. Osterman 6.2; 34. Lane 4.35; 35. Ziegler 4.25; 36. Ellingson-Wirth 3.1; 37. Tollefson 2.95...Vault: 29. Lane 7.875; 32. Osterman 7.7; 35. Ellingson-Wirth 7.1; 36. Justice Gustafson 6.6; 37. C. Osterman 6.15.

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