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Jordan Martinson competes on uneven bars at the Minnesota Class A individual gymnastics championships at University of Minnesota Saturday afternoon. Brian Basham/Forum News Service

Perham gymnasts compete at state meet

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MINNEAPOLIS — Ashley Hokanson, Jordan Martinson and Alexis Peichel all competed in the individual state championships of Class A gymnastics Saturday at the University of Minnesota.

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"I am very proud of all three girls for their hard work this entire season," Head Coach Jenna Schmitz said.

Hokanson, a seventh-grader, recorded the best finish of the trio placing seventh on balance beam with a score of 9.4. Sophomore Martinson was 10th scoring 9.3.

"As a coach, having a little seventh grader make it to state, I expected her to be noticeably nervous. Especially, that the event she was competing on was beam. However, Ashley got up, nailed every single move she did with a few wobbles on her jumps and scored a 9.4. She ended up just being short of making it on the podium with a seventh place spot. I was just happy that she didn’t fall. She will be one to watch in the upcoming years."

Martinson added a 21st place finish on uneven bars with an 8.9, made more notable after her appearance at last year’s state meet where a nasty fall from the top bar ended Martinson’s campaign due to injury.

"Going into bars for our 15-minute warm up I could tell Jordan was nervous, which was expected after a hard fall on her dismount last year. However, she held her composure and did two great practice dismounts. I could tell that took a huge load off her shoulders to get them out of the way. I think everyone was happy that she redeemed herself by doing a great dismount, but I could tell she was a little upset with herself for making an unusual mistake. However, she maintained a good attitude and went to beam where she had one of her best routines this year, adding in a new, more difficult, jump."

Junior Alexis Peichel placed 25th on floor exercise scoring a 9.15.

"Lexi had a good floor routine, but missed some criteria on a few of her jumps (which is critical at state.) I know she will work hard this summer on every event to come back strong for her senior year."

Section 8A’s top two gymnasts, all-around champ Rachelle LeBlanc of Little Falls and Detroit Lakes’ Molly Lyngaas dueled the entire meet. Lyngaas avenged the loss at sections by decimal points placing seventh overall at state (37.5) to LeBlanc’s eighth-place finish (37.325).

Sela Fadness of Austin was the all-around champion scoring 38.7. Jailyn Brinkman of Melrose was runner-up with a 38.325. Fadness won three of four events, scoring 9.725 to win on vault, taking the beam championship with a 9.675 and floor exercise with a 9.7.

Brinkman was champion on bars scoring 9.65. Fadness finished fourth (9.55). LeBlanc placed fifth with a 9.525.

Hokanson made her first appearance at the state meet for Perham.

Peichel and Martinson made their third straight appearances.

"Overall, I am extremely proud of the entire team for their hard work and dedication this year. It was a great first year as being  head coach and I can’t wait for next year," said Schmitz.

Minnesota Class A individual gymnastics championships:

All-Around:

1. Sela Fadness, Austin, 38.7; Jailyn Brinkman, Melrose, 38.325; 3. Lydia Butkowski, Melrose, 37.925; 4. Abby Bickler, Austin, 37.9; 5. Maddie Mullenbach, Melrose, 37.9; 7. Molly Lyngaas, Detroit Lakes, 37.5; 8. Rachelle LeBlanc, Little Falls, 37.325.

Vault:

1. Sela Fadness, Austin, 9.725; 2. Katy Trunk, North Branch, 9.625; 3. Allison Berg, Detroit Lakes, 9.60; 4. Haley Mottinger, Willmar, 9.50; 5. Jailyn Brinkman, Melrose, 8.90.

Uneven Bars:

1. Jailyn Brinkman, Melrose, 9.65; 2. Hannah Piehl, New Prague, 9.625; 3. Claire Boschee, Sartell-St. Stephen, 9.6; 4. Sela Fadness, Austin, 9.55; 5. Rachelle LeBlanc, Little Falls, 9.525; 21. Jordan Martinson, Perham, 8.90.

Balance Beam:

1. Sela Fadness, Austin, 9.675; 2. Jailyn Brinkman, Melrose, 9.65; 3. Abby Bickler, Austin, 9.6; 4. Rachelle LeBlanc, Little Falls, 9.6; 5. Sarah Hoffman, New Prague, 9.575; 7. Ashley Hokanson, Perham, 9.4; 11. Jordan Martinson, Perham, 9.3.

Floor Exercise:

1. Sela Fadness, Austin, 9.7; 2. Lydia Butkowski, Melrose, 9.575; 3. Maddie Mullenbach, Austin, 9.525; 4. Ailsa Gibert, Watertown-Mayer, 9.5; 5. Jailyn Brinkman, Melrose, 9.5; 25. Alexis Peichel, Perham, 9.05.

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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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