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L to R: Taylor Stammen, Nicole Stoering, Satera Montella, Carly Petersen, Mikaela Eickschen, Kelsi Vomacka, Jordan Martinson, Alexis Peichel and Justine Meyer

Gymnasts win seventh True Team title

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Great teams have great leaders and the Yellowjacket gymnastics team routinely gets great performances from their leader, Kelsi Vomacka.

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Vomacka led Perham to their seventh consecutive State True Team title winning the all-around title with a score of 38.875, a new school record.

Vomacka, the 2010 state runner-up in the all-around and on the balance beam, powered Perham to the title, with gold medal performances on the vault, balance beam and floor exercise.

The only event she did not win was on uneven parallel bars, where Detroit Lakes' Amy Crawford took gold with a 9.725. Vomacka was second with a 9.60.

"As Kelsi goes, so we basically go," Head Coach Charlie Fleck said. "She's probably one of the best gymnasts in the state of Minnesota and having a banner season in her senior year."

Vomacka edged out Crawford on beam 9.775 to 9.625.

A 9.75 on floor and vault sealed the individual title for Vomacka and kept the Yellowjackets on pace for the team title.

The Yellowjackets needed all the points they could muster to hold off second place Becker, Perham scored 179.55 to #2 ranked Becker's score of 178.475.

"It's starting to come together for us," Fleck said. "If we can be consistent we have a real good chance of going a long way."

Carly Petersen finished sixth individually and Mikaela Eickschen, battling a strained hip, finished 10th.

Detroit Lakes, a team that comes to Perham for one of the Yellowjackets' toughest tests of the year Friday, Feb. 4, finished eighth with 165.475.

Perham 147.75, Bemidji 131.2

The Yellowjackets scored a season-high 147.75 points defeating Bemidji by over 26 points.

Vomacka continues to prove untouchable taking another all-around title with 38.50 points.

Satera Montella was second with 36.30 and Carly Petersen made it a clean sweep in third with 35.90.

Vomacka was victorious on every event but the beam, where she finished second behind teammate Mikaela Eickschen.

No Lumberjacks finished top-four in any of the events.

"We were really red hot on the floor and balance beam."

It's not often a defending state champion competes in Bemidji but when one does make its way north people take notice.

"It's fun to compete against a team that is that good," said Bemidji gymnast Katie Jensen who led the Lumberjacks against defending state Class A champion Perham Monday at the Gym Bin.

"We know we are not as good as they are but this is an opportunity for us to see the skills that they have and to see the things they can do in a routine. And, after watching them, we now have something more to shoot for."

Perham lived up to its billing and scored 147.750 in Monday's dual meet. Bemidji also did well, finishing with 131.2, a figure just a shade under the season's high-water mark of 131.5 set 10 days ago.

"Our goal is to continue to improve and peak for the section meet (Feb. 18)," Jensen said. "We're getting better. You can see that by our scores and by the skills we are adding.

"In our sport you have to perfect the skills you have and that takes a long time," the junior continued. "And, once you perfect a skill, right away you have to work on getting a new one. Right now we have many girls who are ready to put in some new skills. We're going to have them perfected by the section meet and we're going to be good."

Perham already has its skills perfected as the visitors reached 37 points on every rotation but the bars. Bemidji's best was the vault where the Jacks scored 34.9.

They also tallied 33.3 on the floor, 32.65 on the beam and 30.35 on the bars.

"The kids did very well," said BHS coach Don Papreck. "We struggled a bit on the bars but our floor was fun to watch and you could tell that the kids love doing their routines."

Bemidji's 131.2 was awarded by a set of judges which included three who had not seen Bemidji prior to Monday. Continued improvement with new judges is a sign that the Lumberjacks are taking forward strides.

"It's nice to see us be this consistent despite the new judges," Papreck said.

"I think we're beginning to peak," Jensen said, "and I think we can be at 134 at the section meet. That is where we were last year and I know we can get there again."

Pat Miller of the Bemidji Pioneer contributed to this story.

Perham 147.75, Bemidji 131.2

Perham 147.75, Bemidji 131.20

Vault

1. Kelsi Vomacka 9.55; 2. Mikaela Eickschen 9.35; 3. Carly Petersen 9.20; 4. Jordan Martinson 8.90 5. Satera Montella 8.85.

Beam

1. Eickschen 9.60; 2. Vomacka 9.45; 3. Montella 9.40; 4. Petersen 9.25.

Floor

1. Vomacka 9.80; 2. Montella 9.65; 3. Eickschen 9.60; 4. Petersen 8.90.

Bars

1. Vomacka 9.70; 2. Petersen 8.55; 3. Stoering 8.45; 4. Montella 8.40

All-Around

1. Vomacka 38.50; 2. Montella 36.30; 3. Petersen 35.90.

2011 Class A True Team

State Gymnastics Meet

At Cardinal Gym,

Fairmont

Team Standings (All 5 scores count): 1. Perham 179.55; 2. Becker 178.475; 3. New Prague 177.3; 4. Melrose Area 176.8; 5. Martin County Area 168.9; 6. Jackson County Central 168.075; 7. Sartell-St. Stephen 166.875; 8. Detroit Lakes 165.475; 9. Watertown-Mayer 159.075; 10. Rush City/Pine City/Hinckley-Finlayson 150.725.

All-Around: 1. Kelsi Vomacka (Perham) 38.875; 2. Amy Crawford (Detroit Lakes) 37.975; 3. Hailey Brinkman (Melrose) 37.075; 4. Maria Zimmerman (Becker) 37.05; 5. Jailyn Brinkman (Melrose) 36.725; 6. Carly Petersen (Perham) 36.6; 7. Lydia Butkowski (Melrose) 36.2; 8. Matraca Steen (Martin Co. Area) 36.025; 9. Brianna Ellanson (New Prague) 35.85; 10. Mikaela Eickschen (Perham) 35.725.

Vault: 1. Vomacka (Perham) 9.75; 2. Autumn Robinson (Becker) 9.5; 3. Paige Breneman (MCA) 9.4; 4. (tie) Crawford (Detroit Lakes) and Paige Hardekopf (Becker) 9.35s; 5. M. Steen (MCA) 9.325; 6. Sydnee Donnelli (JCC) 9.3.

Uneven Parallel Bars: 1. Crawford (Detroit Lakes) 9.725; 2. Vomacka (Perham) 9.6; 3. H. Brinkman (Melrose) 9.5; 4. Zimmerman (Becker) 9.4; 5. Robinson (Becker) 9.375; 6. J. Brinkman (Melrose) 9.35.

Balance Beam: 1. Vomacka (Perham) 9.775; 2. Crawford (Detroit Lakes) 9.625; 3. Zimmerman (Becker) 9.45; 4. Sarah Hoffman (New Prague) 9.375; 5. Butkowski (Melrose) 9.35; 6. Jordyn Peterson (Detroit Lakes) 9.325.

Floor Exercise: 1. Vomacka (Perham) 9.75; 2. Mikayla Dockendorf (Sartell-St. Stephen) 9.4; 3. Satera Montella (Perham) 9.35; 4. (tie) M. Steen (MCA) and Hoffman (New Prague) 9.325s; 5. H. Brinkman (Melrose) 9.3; 6. (tie) Crawford (Detroit Lakes) and Eickschen (Perham) 9.275.

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Robert Williams
Robert has been the Sports Editor for the Focus since 2010 covering multiple state and national championship teams and is a mainstay at state tournaments each season covering the successful, athletic programs of Perham and New York Mills High Schools.
(218) 346-5900 x223
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