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Detroit Lakes gymnastics wrap-up

Molly Lyngaas goes through her bars routine during a meet in the 2012-13 season. Lyngaas was just one of many seventh and eighth graders who were major contributors this season for the Lakers. Brian Basham/Tribune

Usually when a varsity team is restocked with inexperienced seventh and eighth graders, it’s usually called a rebuilding year.

Nobody told that to the Detroit Lakes gymnastics team, though.

The youthful Laker team may have had a load of seventh and eighth graders contributing on the varsity level for the 2012-13 season, but they were major contributors at that.

DL was a beacon of consistency during the winter season, as they just missed making state as a team, once again falling short to Perham in the Section 8-1A meet.

But the season bodes well for the long term future for the Lakers, which had a bevy of young gymnasts scoring vital points.

“Really, there wasn’t much of a transition for the younger gymnasts to the varsity level, because they have been competing at a high level for the Minnesota Flyers for quite some time already,” said DL head coach Steve Zamzo. “They biggest aspect which was different for them was the team aspect, there was more stress on the younger gymnasts to produce for the team more than individually.”

But the depth the Lakers employed throughout the season was impressive, in that they had well over a dozen gymnasts who could go out and pick up big points during meets.

“It’s nice having that kind of depth and go down to the junior varsity level and pull someone up and not have much of a drop off,” Zamzo said.

The Lakers most consistent gymnast through the season was eighth grader Molly Lyngaas, who finished in sixth place in the Class 1A all-around with a 36.8125, while taking seventh on vault, 10th on bars and 14th on beam.

Lyngaas was also named as a top five gymnast in the state with elite top scores accumulated through the season.

“She was probably one toe away from being a state champion,” Zamzo said, referring to Lyngaas’ unfortunate bar routine during the state meet where one of her toes drug on the mat during her dismount. “She was one of our most consistent gymnasts, though.”

The Lakers also relied on their more veteran gymnasts to provide that leadership, which is needed on every successful team.

Senior Abby Einerson was one of the team’s captain, as well as the team’s anchor on floor and beam.

Sophomore Hannah Okeson also provided much leadership, as did sophomore Katie Crawford, who was DL’s usual first one to perform on beam.

“(Junior) Claire Nelmark showed the hard work ethic after returning from a back injury,” Zamzo said. “(Sophomores) Maddie Hoffert and Allison Berg also showed great leadership through the season.”

Sophomore Olivia Mann came on strong towards the end of the season, after recovering from a back injury, as well.

But the Lakers just keep getting deeper, as Berg and eighth grader Johanna Jernberg also qualified for state individually.

The Laker lineup will be fluid throughout the next few seasons, but one common denominator throughout each one, is they will be as talented as any team in the state.

Good depth and top talent will be a driving force for the Lakers for years to come, as the 2012-13 season proved just that.

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