DL Gymnastics: Laker trio earns state berth
Despite falling short of their top goal of making the Class 1A state gymnastics state meet as a team, the Detroit Lakes squad gained the next best thing by qualifying three individually.
Missing out by .875 of a point to Perham for the Section 8-1A championship, the Lakers will still be represented well at the state meet with the trio of sophomore Allison Berg and eighth graders Molly Lyngaas and Johanna Jernberg making it individually.
The Class 1A state meet will be Friday and Saturday at the University of Minnesota's Sports Pavilion, with both days starting at 11 a.m.
The Lakers notched their second-highest score of the season Saturday in Park Rapids for the Section 8-1A meet, with a 144.175, while Perham recorded their season-best 145.05.
"The girls far exceeded any invitational score this season and everything came together very well for them Saturday," said DL head coach Steve Zamzo. "We felt their performances were good enough to win the meet, but it didn't end that way."
In the end, the bars event was the deciding factor, as Perham outscored DL by a 36.8 to 34.55 margin.
Other than the bars, the Lakers won every other event.
After feeling the disappointment of seeing Perham win their 11th straight Section 8-1A title, the positivity of having three Lakers make the state overshadowed those feelings.
Lyngaas remained as consistent as can be, by winning the section vault with a 9.6 and bars with a 9.5, while finishing second on beam with a 9.45 and silver in all-around with a combined mark of 37.8.
She just missed qualifying for state on floor by finishing fifth with a 9.25 (top four qualify for state).
"Molly's first pass on her double-twist full didn't go as well as she liked and she passed on it for her routine and instead did a one twist," Zamzo said. "But she still made it in three events and all-around, so she had a great section meet.
"She is an unbelievable gymnasts."
Lyngaas was DL's most reliable gymnast throughout the season, stumbling very few times and consistently posting 9.0's or better in all four of her events.
"In the all-around, I started out pretty average, but things got better through the season," Lyngaas said. "High school competition is much different than U.S.G.A, because you are also performing for your team.
"Everytime you get a big score, it's not just for me, but for the team, too."
Lyngaas also has plenty of experience performing in big meets and the Class 1A state meet should be no different.
"The U.S.G.A meets are just as big as state, so that will help a lot," Lyngaas added.
For Berg, getting back to her level of performance this season was a work in progress itself.
After rehabbing through a broken foot through last summer, Berg sprained her ankle during the fall volleyball season.
She was still affected by her ankle injury by the time the gymnastics season started, but much hard work and effort, Berg was back to her normal self by the time sections rolled around.
Her 9.35 on vault landed her fourth place Saturday and her first trip to the state gymnastics meet.
"I knew I was going to have to work hard to get back to where I was before my injuries," Berg said. "I was just so excited making state, because it showed all that hard work pays off."
Jernberg's favorite and strongest event proved to be just that, her best, as she qualified on floor with a fourth-place score of 9.275.
"I had high expectations on floor and I was able to do all my difficulties for the second time this season (in the section meet)," Jernberg said. "Now at state, I can solely focus on floor and go out and do my best."
Zamzo's expectations for all three Laker gymnasts is to make the top 10 and potentially the top five.
"All three are very good gymnasts and can do very well at state," Zamzo said.
But don't think losing out on the team competition to Perham by a shaving of a point will be forgotten.
Instead, it will provide more motivation heading into the offseason.
"We are all ready to work harder and improve over the offseason," Lyngaas said.
Added Jernberg, "Our goal in the long run is to make state as a team and I think we are close."
Section 8-1A meet in Park Rapids, Saturday, Feb. 16.
Team results (*state qualifier): *Perham 145.050, Detroit Lakes 144.175, Little Falls 131.675, Bemidji 129.575, Fergus Falls 125.025, Long Prairie 111.85, Park Rapids 98.1, Frazee 97.675.
DL event results (*state qualifier) - Vault: *1. Molly Lyngaas 9.6, *4. Ally Berg 9.35; 5. Johanna Jernberg 9.3; 9. Alexis Ostlie 8.8; 15. Hannah Okeson 8.55...Bars: *1. Lyngaas 9.5; 6. Emma Disse 9.05; 10. Alexis Ostlie 8.1; 12. Jernberg 7.9; 13. Berg 7.825...Beam: *2. Lyngaas 9.45; 5. Disse 8.825; 8. Ostlie 8.725; 9. Leah Chavez 8.7; 10. Abby Einerson 8.3...Floor: *4. Jernberg 9.275; 5. Lyngaas 9.25; 6. Disse 9.2; 7. Chavez 9.15; 9. Ostlie 8.875...All-around: *2. Lyngaas 37.8; 5. Ostlie 34.5.
Frazee event results - Vault: 25. Hannah Brady 8.2; 31. Jerica Totland 8.1; 35. Cassidy Ziegler 7.9; 37. Morgan Laine 7.8; 40. Kiara Dekarske 7.6...Bars: 26. Ziegler 5.9; 32. Brady 4.4; 38. Dekarske 2.9; 39. Totland 2.8; 40. Laine 2.65...Beam: 28. Totland 6.3; 31. Brady 6.075; 33. Ziegler 5.7; 34. Laine 5.6; 40. Courtney Osterman 3.95...Floor: 30. Ziegler 6.9; 31. Laine 6.8; 32. Brady 6.4; 37. Osterman 5.9; 38. Totland 5.6...All-around: 17. Ziegler 26.4; 21. Brady 25.075; 23. Laine 22.85; 24. Totland 22.8.