MFG gymnasts in two big meets

By Jennifer Smith Three teams from the Minnesota Flyers attended the Snowflake Flip in Bemidji Saturday January 11, as the level 3 team of Jaden Hackel, Mackenzie Hilden, Jerzie Horner and Lydia Gag placed fifth out of seven teams. This was their...

By Jennifer Smith

Three teams from the Minnesota Flyers attended the Snowflake Flip in Bemidji Saturday January 11, as the level 3 team of Jaden Hackel, Mackenzie Hilden, Jerzie Horner and Lydia Gag placed fifth out of seven teams. 

This was their first meet of the season and the bar was set high. 

Hackel is brand new to competition this year and hit a 9.0 on vault. She added solid 8s on bars, beam and floor. 

“As a first time competitor earning a 34.6 all-around score is amazing,” coach Stephanie Birkeland said. 


Hilden put up consistent scores earning 8.0’s in each event. She just narrowly missed hitting a 9.0 on bars with a score of 8.95. 

To motivate the athletes, the coaches have created a “9.0 Club” in which gymnasts are honored at the end of the year. 

A big goal for many of the girls is to try and earn a 9.0 or higher on each event. 

Horner was right behind her teammates, earning all 8.0s, as well.  Her best event was vault in which she earned an 8.9. 

Gag rounded out the group by earning an 8.8 on both vault and bars. 

The Level 4 team placed second out of seven teams with a total score of 106.75. 

Bemidji Arials won the meet with a team score of 108.1. 

MFG had a mix of experienced competitors along with some girls who were brand new to competition.  In the 11-plus age category, Falyn Deboer placed 10th, Abby Nagel 11th and Breanna Wilkens 17th. 


Abby Nagel put up some huge scores with a 9.0 on vault and a 9.3 on beam. 

In the 9-10 year old category, Jordan Ehnart showed up to compete and bettered her previous performances by earning 9s on vault, bars, and beam. 

She earned an 8.8 on floor. 

Ehnart was the All-Around champ with a score of 36.25. 

Isabella Smith was close behind with a fourth place finish.   Smith also improved her scores by earning a 9.15 on vault and a 9.0 on beam with a fall. 

Arianna Leitheiser placed eighth, Grace Manning 10th, Skylar Nelson 11th and Gabrielle Frederickson 17th. 

Gabrielle Whitworth and Ezeri Richardson competed in the 8 and under category. 

Whitworth placed fourth and Ezeri sixth.  Richardson earned a 9.0 on vault while Gabrielle earned a 9.05. 


The level 5 team only has two competitors this season therefore they are not eligible for a team award. 

You must have a minimum of three competitors to make up a team.  Individually both gymnasts earned personal best All-Around scores. 

Kaitlyn Peterson received a 33.10 and Sabrina Ruiz earned a 32.05. Ruiz placed first on bars with a 9.0 Peterson placed third on bars with a 8.8.

MFG coach Chrisandra Loftsgard is refocusing the girls during practice. 

“With their first meet behind them we can really focus and cleaning up routines and really work to help everyone keep improving their scores in preparation for their upcoming meets in Sioux Falls (S.D.) and Valley City, (N.D.),” she added.

Level 9 gymnasts Peyton Jernberg, Justine Lawrence and level 8, Emily Smith started their meet season off at the Gopher Invite held at the National Sports Center in Blaine.

Lawrence earned high scores in all four events, and placed second in her age group with an All-Around score of 34.8. 

Jernberg had solid scores on vault, beam, and floor. 


Her All-Around score was a 33.325 which earned her a 5th place finish.  Both athletes’ scores also qualified them for the State Meet in the spring.

Smith had a bumpy start to her season.  Despite falls on vault, beam, and floor she finished seventh overall. 

Her best event was bars where she placed sixth. 

MFG coach Sith Hansana’s goal for the next meet is no falls and cleaner routines. 

The optional teams will be competing in Sioux Falls SD in January and at the Legacy Luau at Fort Snelling in February.

Individual scores and placements (per age category):
Level 3     Vault                        Bars                         Beam                       Floor                        All-Around
J Hackel   9.0 (7th) 8.65(13th)              8.2 (17th)               8.75(8th)                34.600 (13th)
M Hilden  8.1(20th)                8.95(7th)                8.7(11th)                8.0(15th)                33.75(16th)
J Horner   8.9(11th)                8.6(14th)                8.15(18th)              8.05(14th)              33.70(17th)
L Gag                       8.8(12th)                8.8(10th)                6.8(17th)                7.25(15th)              31.65(16th)

Level 4     Vault                        Bars                         Beam                       Floor                        All-Around
J Ehnert    9.0(4th)                  9.1(1st)                   9.3(1st)                   8.850(3rd)              36.25(1st)
I Smith                     9.15(2nd)               8.8(3rd)                  9.0(7th)                  8.0(8th)                  34.95(4th)
G Whitworth              9.05(1st)                8.95(2nd)               7.3(7th)                  8.25(3rd0               33.55(4th)
A Leitheiser              8.95(5th)                7.4(12th)                8.8(10th)                8.0(8th)                  33.15(8th)
G Manning               8.8(6th)                  8.6(6th)                  8.6(13th)                6.85(16th)              32.85(10th)
F Deboer  8.9(4th)                  7.75(12TH)             8.7(9TH) 7.5(15TH)               32.85(10TH)
A Nagel    9.0(3rd)                  6.6(17th)                9.3(2nd) 7.4(18th)                32.30(11th) 

Level 9     Vault                        Bars                         Beam                       Floor                        All-Around
J Lawrence               8.775 (4th)             9.0(1st)                   8.675(2nd)             8.35(7th)                34.8(2nd)
P Jernberg                9.0(3rd)                  7.8(7th)                  8.125(5th)              8.4(6th)                  33.325(5th)


Level 8    Vault                        Bars                         Beam                       Floor                        All-Around
E Smith    8.3(9th)                  8.15(6th)                7.375(8th)              7.9(9th)                  31.725(7th)

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