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Decade of success chalked up for Perham gymnastics

Front row L-R: Justine Meyer, Satera Montella, Madison Peichel. Middle row: Alexis Peichel, Jordan Martinson, Carly Breitenfeldt, Madison Obowa. Back row: Taylor Stammen, Jada Halbakken, Adrienne Meyer. Submitted photo.1 / 4
Front: Abby Tweeton, Mia Campana, Jada Olsen, Tayler Parks, Evelyn McCleary, Jazzmin Branchard, Madison Ruther. Middle: McKenzie Rohloff, Kassie Kovar, Emily Martinson, Ashley Hokanson, Sydney Bahls, Dena Fischer. Back: Desiree Roberts, Lindsay Soule, Shelby Burns, Zoe Olsen, Anika Kovar, Madison Swentik, Izzy Wengel.2 / 4
Front: Lily Wegscheid, Madison Doll, Dani VanWatermulen, Liz Birkeland, Whitney Lorentz. Middle: Natalie Rooney, Lily DeBoer, Dani Roberts, Kylen Wagenman, Grace Kalina, Hermoine Roberts. Back: Keyana King, Kirsten Anderson, Steph Bernstetter, Willow Thiel.3 / 4
Front: Addison Hackel, Lily Fielder, Mary Fudge, Kylie Feldt. Middle: Liz Sazama, Emily Welte, Alex Welte, Valerie Guardo, Allison Flatau. Back: Avery McAlister, Hannah Hunter, Grace Edwards, Mariah Tharaldson, Courtney Ternus, Lily Boehland.4 / 4

The youngest Perham gymnastics team in 10 years continued the program's heralded success for a 10th consecutive year chalking up a number of significant accomplishments on their way to appearing in the state tournament for an amazing 10th consecutive season.

The team did so by winning a 10th straight Section 8A championship.

The Yellowjackets finished fourth place at the state meet during a two-day period where teams like Melrose, New Prague and Big Lake, the top three finishing schools, arrived at the tournament waiting to pounce on a Yellowjacket squad that would need perfection on their side to keep an unbelievable and nearly impossible quest for a ninth consecutive state championships going.

Like the prior season, when Mikaela Eickschen competed at the state level with an injury, so did one of this season's gymnastics.

Carly Breitenfeldt, a seventh-grader, was this team's representative of the toughness it takes to compete at such a high level. Breitenfeldt was injured midway through the season and managed the Section title on uneven bars and important scoring performances at state with a broken foot.

Lone senior Satera Montella led the Yellowjackets as an All-State Elite gymnast. She was ranked in the top five in Class A.

Along with Alexis Peichel, Montella qualified for the state individual all-around competition.

Montella dominated the Section meet winning three of our events: balance beam, vault and floor exercise.

Montella also became the ninth Yellowjacket to accumulate over 2,000 points with 2018.08. She joins the ranks of big names that have passed through Coach Charlie Fleck's program topped by 2011 state champion Kelsi Vomacka's 2730.92 points.

Montella finished her career tied for fifth all-time in cumulative career best scores. Her event totals are highlighted by a 9.80 on balance beam set this season, a high for the team. Her best four event total score of 38.125 ties her with Jenna Schmitz.

Montella also led the team by scoring a 9.0 or higher 38 times.

Next year's team will be one of, if not, the youngest team in school history with no juniors or seniors.

But these young gymnasts have gained plenty of experience to be a threat to the state title, as Perham has been every year since the turn of the century.

Peichel, a sophomore, and Jordan Martinson, a freshman, were named captains of next year's team.

With Peichel's state-all around qualifications and Martinson, who qualified for state on floor and beam, Perham has plenty of young leadership at the helm. Justine Meyer, a freshman, joined Martinson at state on the same pair of events.

Peichel and Breitenfeldt also bring back to the mat All-State accolades. Martinson, Peichel, Adrienne Meyer, Justine Meyer and Breitenfeldt were also awarded All-State honorable mention awards.

Perham's season was highly productive and only disappointing to a team that is accustomed to state titles. While the Yellowjackets may have fell short of that lofty goal, the upcoming squad is primed for another run in 2013.


Lakes Area Gymnastics summer schedule

Lakes Area Gymnastics has released their summer schedule for kids ages 3-12 from all area schools.

The classes will be held at Perham High School, in the gymnasium. Enter the school in entrance number four.

There are four classes.

Class A will be held Mondays, June 4-27 from 5:30-7 p.m. Cost is $40.

Class B will be held Mondays and Wednesdays, June 4-27 from 5:30-7 p.m. Cost is $55.

Class C will be held Mondays, July 2-24 from 5:30-7 p.m. Cost is $40.

Class D will be held Mondays and Wednesdays, July 2-24 from 5:30-7 p.m. Cost is $55.

To register call 218-346-1540.

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

(218) 844-1442