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Gymnastics: Perham nips DL in opener

Saturday’s season-opener in Perham during the Jackie Mann Invite, was a good reminder to the Detroit Lakes gymnastics team that the section still remains wide open.

It’s also good timing for an eye-opener for the Lakers, since it’s the first meet of the season and now the young DL gymnasts can focus on their performances.

Perham won the meet with a 141.95, while the Lakers finished second with a score of 139.35.

“This was good for us,” said DL head coach Steve Zamzo. “I think the girls were going in there and thinking they were going to beat Perham because they had a switch in head coaches. Our girls thought they could just show up and win.”

The Yellowjacket gymnasts have had to transition from eight-time state champion head coach Charlie Fleck, who was not retained by the Perham School, to Jenna Schmitz, who was one of Fleck’s best gymnasts during his tenure.

The upheaval may have potentially put DL ahead of Perham on paper, but in relative terms, there still is a long season to go through before that can be reality.

“Our girls now know that’s not going to happen by itself,” Zamzo added. “It’s definitely the right time to find that out, too.”

The Lakers excelled on vault and floor, as seventh grader Alexis Yliniemi won vault with a 9.45, with Ally Berg right behind her in second with a 9.2.

The Lakers also dominated floor, taking the top five positions, led by Molly Lyngaas’ 9.4 and Emma Disse’s 9.2. They were proceeded by Jordyn Peterson’s 9.1, Leah Chavez’ 9.0 and Cora Okeson’s 8.9 scores. 

“I think Alexis opened some eyes with her vault and it was nice to see taking the top five spots on floor,” Zamzo added.

The Lakers will have two different meets Saturday, with the normal varsity team going to the highly-competitive St. Cloud Apollo meet and the junior varsity squad heading to Morris, which is still an all-varsity meet.

“It’s good we will have everybody in action in a varsity meet Saturday,” Zamzo added.

Detroit Lakes at the Jackie Mann Invite at Perham, Saturday, Nov. 30

Team results: Perham 141.95, Detroit Lakes 139.35, Cambridge-Isanti 133.9, Moorhead 126.6

DL results – Vault: Alexis Yliniemi 9.45; Ally Berg 9.2; Leah Chavez 8.75; Emma Disse 8.5; Molly Lyngaas 8.3…Bars: Lyngaas 8.9; Cora Okeson 8.65; Chavez 7.9; Johanna Jernberg 7.6; Berg 7.0…Beam: Lyngaas 9.1; Jordyn Peterson 8.4; Okeson 8.2; Disse 8.0; Chavez 7.5…Floor: Lyngaas 9.4; Disse 9.2; Peterson 9.1; Chavez 9; Okeson 8.9

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