Horner, Whitworth advance to state gymnastics

Detroit Lakes places third at section gymnastics behind No. 6 Perham and No. 8 Melrose.

Sophomore Jerzie Horner competes on vault at the Section 8A Gymnastics championships in Melrose on her way to a silver medal all-around performance Saturday, March 20, 2021. Robert Williams / Tribune

Detroit Lakes’ top two gymnasts, Jerzie Horner and Gabby Whitworth, secured individual qualifying spots at the Class A state gymnastics meet.

The sophomore duo led the Lakers to a third place team finish at the Section 8A championships in Melrose Saturday, March 20.

Horner was the all-around silver medalist behind defending section champion Jada Olsen of Perham. The top three all-arounders advance to state. Courtney Althaus of Melrose claimed the bronze medal and final qualifying spot.

Gabby Whitworth qualified for state in three events, vault, bars and beam and finished fourth in the all-around at section gymnastics Saturday, March 20, 2021. Robert Williams / Tribune


Whitworth scored 36.275 for a fourth place all-around finish but was edged out by one-tenth of a point by Althaus (36.375) in state qualifying.

Besides the top three all-arounders, the next three finishers in each event advance. Whitworth qualified on vault, bars and beam.

Perham scored 143.975 to claim the team victory. Melrose scored 143.15 and DL placed third with a season-best score of 141.

The Yellowjackets claimed their second straight section title and will look to improve upon a fourth place state finish last year.

Jada Olsen performs her gold medal floor exercise routine on her way to capturing the Section 8A all-around championship while leading the Perham Yellowjackets to a second straight state berth Saturday, March 20, 2021 at Melrose high school. Robert Williams / Tribune

Olsen is the defending state all-around champion, but she was tested by Horner winning by only 0.35 points. Olsen had gold performances on bars and floor and a silver on vault to win with a final score of 36.85.

Honer scored 36.5 gaining silver medals on bars and beam to go with a fourth place finish on vault.


Whitworth led Althaus 27.225 to 27.05 after three events, but a bronze score of 9.325 on floor pushed Althaus into the final state qualifying spot in all-around.

DL’s Elsie Ratz just missed qualifying on the balance beam. She outscored both Althaus and Olsen, but her fifth place score of 8.8 was the fourth best individual score behind section champion Hannah Hoppe of Melrose (9.25), third place Avery McAllister of Perham (8.9) and Whitworth in fourth (9.85).

Horner was second with a 9.075 on beam with the automatic all-around bid.

Detroit Lakes freshman Elsie Ratz caught some tough luck just missing a state qualifying performance on balance beam while completing a top 10 all-around performance in Melrose Saturday, March 20, 2021. Robert Williams / Tribune

Ratz finished eighth in the all-around putting three Lakers in the top 10.

McAllister was the vault section champion scoring 9.5 to keep her teammate Olsen from three individual event wins (9.475).

The 2021 Class A State Girls Gymnastics Meet will be held at Champlin Park High School Friday, March 26 with team and individual competition happening at the same time, rather than the usual separate days. Section 8 gymnasts will compete with sections 1-3 in the night session beginning at 6 p.m.


Section 8A Gymnastics Championships

1 Perham 143.975, 2 Melrose Area 143.150, 3 Detroit Lakes 141.000, 4 Fergus Falls 134.025, 5 Little Falls 127.150, 6 Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis 126.225, 7 Morris Area 118.825, 8 Long Prairie-Grey Eagle-Browerville 103.950.

All Around (Top 3 advance)

1 36.850 Jada Olsen Perham

2 36.500 Jerzie Horner Detroit Lakes

3 36.375 Courtney Althaus Melrose

4 36.275 Gabby Whitworth Detroit Lakes


8 34.400 Elsie Ratz Detroit Lakes

Vault (*All Around top 3, **state qualifiers)

1 9.500 Avery McAllister Perham**

2 9.475 Jada Olsen Perham*

3 9.350 Gabby Whitworth Detroit Lakes**

4 9.325 Jerzie Horner Detroit Lakes*

5 9.225 Courtney Althaus Melrose*

6 9.200 Brittney Lorentz Perham**


8 8.825 Elsie Ratz Detroit Lakes

14 8.450 Mamie Hunter Detroit Lakes

T-17 8.400 Hope Hamm Detroit Lakes


1 9.500 Jada Olsen Perham*

2 9.150 Jerzie Horner Detroit Lakes*

3 9.125 Courtney Althaus Melrose*

4 9.100 Miranda Gieske Melrose**


5 9.050 Brittney Lorentz Perham**

6 9.025 Gabby Whitworth Detroit Lakes**

T-13 8.000 Ava Morrison Detroit Lakes

16 7.900 Elsie Ratz Detroit Lakes

T-31 6.250 Mamie Hunter Detroit Lakes


1 9.250 Hannah Hoppe Melrose**

2 9.075 Jerzie Horner Detroit Lakes*

3 8.900 Avery McAllister Perham**

4 8.850 Gabby Whitworth Detroit Lakes**

5 8.800 Elsie Ratz Detroit Lakes

7 8.700 Courtney Althaus Melrose*

13 8.425 Jada Olsen Perham*

17 8.150 Taryn Wendt Detroit Lakes

24 7.700 Jordan Ehnert Detroit Lakes


1 9.450 Jada Olsen Perham*

2 9.375 Maretta VanBeck Melrose**

3 9.325 Courtney Althaus Melrose*

T-4 9.325 Meghan Pundsack Melrose**

T-4 9.325 Hannah Hoppe Melrose**

T-9 9.225 Taryn Wendt Detroit Lakes

12 9.050 Gabby Whitworth Detroit Lakes

15 8.950 Jerzie Horner Detroit Lakes*

T-16 8.875 Elsie Ratz Detroit Lakes

26 8.100 Ava Morrison Detroit Lakes

Read more stories by Robert Williams here .

Robert Williams has been a sports editor for Forum Communications in Perham and Detroit Lakes since 2011.
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