Three DL gymnasts advance to state

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Twin sister and student team manager Kennedy Hegg spots the end of Jackson Hegg's floor exercise tumbling run on the way to a silver medal all-around and gold medal bars performance by the Detroit Lakes senior at the Section 8A championships at Morris Elementary school Saturday, Feb. 15. Robert Williams / Tribune

Three Detroit Lakes gymnasts, senior Jackson Hegg and freshmen Gabby Whitworth and Jerzie Horner, qualified for the state individual meet at the Section 8A championships in Morris Saturday, Feb 15.

Hegg finished as the all-around silver medalist scoring 38.575 just missing first place by two-tenths of a point to Perham’s Jada Olsen (38.575). Hegg picked up DL’s lone section championship on bars.

Whitworth had a strong day of competition qualifying in three events: vault, beam and floor. She finished third on vault and beam and sixth on floor.

Horner placed sixth on vault with a score of 9.45 to earn her state berth.


The top three all-arounders and the three best scores qualify for state to complete the section team of six gymnasts. Melrose’s top gymnast Camryn Brinkman took the bronze medal to join Olsen and Hegg in the all-around competition.

With Hegg taking the bars title, Olsen swept the other three events and all-around title leading the Yellowjackets to victory and snapping the Lakers’ six-year hold on the section title.

Hegg is the defending state bars champion. She also grabbed bronze in the all-around last season and joined Laker teammates in sweeping gold medals in all four events. Hegg, a senior, will be competing in her final meet for the Lakers and attempting to be the fourth DL gymnast to repeat at state in the same event and the first to do so on bars joining Amy Crawford on beam 2010-11, Cora Okeson on floor 2018-19 and Peyton Jernberg on beam 2018-19.

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Detroit Lakes freshman Gabby Whitworth qualified for state on vault, balance beam and floor exercise Saturday at the Section 8A championships in Morris. Robert Williams / Tribune

Whitworth made a big jump this season making state in three events after qualifying and placing 11th overall on vault last year.

Horner has state team experience, but will be making her individual debut.


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Laker freshman Jerzie Horner will make her state individual debut after securing a berth on vault at sections Saturday afternoon in Morris. Robert Williams / Tribune

Perham’s win assured a new Class A state champion for the first time in since 2014.

Perham won eight straight state team titles from 2004-11. Detroit Lakes held the crown from 2015-19. In between those two runs, Melrose Area had two titles in 2012 and 2014 with New Prague taking gold in 2013. New Prague has since moved to Class AA.

Melrose moved to Section 8A this season making Perham’s win a big one with three of the top 10 state-ranked teams vying for the top spot.

Each of the teams had a viable shot at the section title.

The uneven parallel bars at Morris were a challenge as all three teams posted their lowest score of the meet. A big performance on bars could have been a difference-maker.

The Jackets scored 34.4; the Lakers totaled 34.025 and Melrose 35.05.


Perham posted scores of 36.75 or better in the other three events.

DL put up 36.15 on beam, 36.45 on floor and 37.525 on vault.

Melrose was between 36.525 and 37.15 on their other events.

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The Perham Yellowjackets snapped a six-year Detroit Lakes run in Section 8A winning the team title at Morris Elementary School Saturday, Feb. 15. Robert Williams / Tribune

Perham ultimately edged Melrose by eight-tenths scoring 145.875 to the Dutchmen’s 145.075. The Lakers third place score was 144.15.

Laker individuals will compete on day two of the state meet Saturday, Feb. 22 at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul beginning at 11 a.m.

Hegg, Whitworth and Horner will be trying to add to the Lakers’ list of a dozen state individual championships held by seven different gymnasts.


The Class A Team Championship will be held Friday, Feb. 21.

Perham enters the meet ranked No. 2 in Class A and will be looking to keep the state title in the section for the 14th year out of the last 17 seasons.

Detroit Lakes Individual State Champions

2010 Amy Crawford - Beam

2011 Amy Crawford - Beam

2011 Amy Crawford - Bars

2012 Jessica Stelter- Vault

2015 Molly Lyngaas - All Around


2016 Emma Disse - Floor

2018 Peyton Jernberg - Beam

2018 Cora Okeson - Floor

2019 Cora Okeson - Floor

2019 Cora Okeson -Vault

2019 Jackson Hegg - Bars

2019 Peyton Jernberg - Beam

Section 8A Gymnastics championships


Gold - Perham 145.875

Silver - Melrose Area 145.075

Bronze - Detroit Lakes 144.15

4 Fergus Falls 130.35

5 Little Falls 125.925

6 Park Rapids 124.45

7 MAHACA 117.8

8 LPGE-Browerville 92.875

Individual (*state qualifier)


*1 Jada Olsen, PER, 38.575

*2 Jackson Hegg, DL, 38.375

*3 Camryn Brinkman, MEL, 37.675

4 Gabrielle Whitworth, DL, 36.425

8 Jerzie Horner, DL 35.025


*1 Jada Olsen, PER, 9.850

*2 Camryn Brinkman, MEL, 9.675

*3 Gabrielle Whitworth, DL, 9.625

*3 Avery McAllister, PER, 9.625

*5 Jackson Hegg, DL, 9.600

*6 Jerzie Horner, DL 9.450

16 Ava Morrison, DL 8.850

17 Ava Funk, DL 8.850


*1 Jada Olsen, PER, 9.700

*2 Jackson Hegg, DL, 9.625

*3 Camryn Brinkman, MEL, 9.300

*4 Courtney Althaus, MEL, 8.950

*5 Dena Fischer, PER, 8.550

*6 Kassidy Kovar, PER, 8.450

9 Gabrielle Whitworth, DL 8.200

10 Jerzie Horner, DL 8.150

12 Jordan Ehnert, DL 8.050

17 Skylar Nelson, DL 7.750


*1 Jackson Hegg, DL, 9.575

*2 Hannah Hoppe, MEL, 9.450

*3 Gabrielle Whitworth, DL, 9.425

*4 Jada Olsen, PER, 9.375

*5 Camryn Brinkman, MEL, 9.325

*6 Courtney Althaus, DL 9.175

10 Skylar Nelson, DL 8.700

17 Jordan Ehnert, DL 8.300


*1 Jada Olsen, PER, 9.650

*2 Jackson Hegg, DL, 9.575

*3 Avery McAllister, PER, 9.400

*4 Camryn Brinkman, MEL, 9.375

*5 Miranda Gieske, MEL, 9.275

*6 Gabrielle Whitworth, DL, 9.175

10 Jerzie Horner, DL 8.975

14 Ari Leitheiser, DL 8.725

23 Taryn Wendt, DL 8.000

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