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Lakers take section title from Perham

A changing of the guard occurred in Perham Saturday, when the Yellowjackets were knocked off the top podium spot for the first time in 12 years and placed no gymnasts in the top-four all-around. Left to right: Emma Disse, Hannah Wendel, Molly Lyngaas and three-time champ Rachelle LeBlanc.

PERHAM - After 11 years as the Section 8A champions, the Perham Yellowjackets’ run in that capacity is over.

The Detroit Lakes gymnasts piled on 148.425 points to win the title Saturday.

Perham scored their highest marks of the year with a 146.8.

The balance beam made for an interesting beginning and end to the meet.

Detroit Lakes got off to an inconspicuous start by scoring a disappointing 34.775 on beam, which included a couple falls by Laker gymnasts.

Perham got their meet started on floor exercise and busted out to an early lead after scoring 37.125, led by Lexi Peichel (9.5) and Ashley Hokanson (9.4).

Missing from floor was Jordan Martinson, who competed in the three remaining events. After the hot start, Martinson was not needed and able to rest a leg ailment as Perham looked on the path to section title No. 12.

Detroit Lakes recorded a solid floor score of 37.8, their second event, beginning their close on Perham’s lead.

Perham headed to vault and scored 36.3, led by Carly Breitenfeldt’s 9.25. After two events, Perham held the lead 75.575 to 73.425.

The Lakers put the pressure on Perham while on vault with four scores at 9.425 or better for an event mark of 38.35 to roars from a hungry Laker crowd that crescendoed as the meet progressed.

Perham was across the gymnasium on bars. Martinson made her presence known scoring 9.35 to lead Perham. Breitenfeldt came through again with a big performance scoring 9.325. Adrienne Meyer added a 9.225.

The effort of 36.95 was not good enough to stave off the Laker rally as the Lakers headed to the final apparatus up 110.925 - 110.375.

Perham headed to the beam. Detroit Lakes was next door on bars.

In the 2013 section meet at Park Rapids, Perham had started shakily on beam but rallied to clinch the meet over DL on vault and bars.

Saturday in Perham, the Lakers recreated that feat to dethrone the Yellowjackets.

DL collected 37.5 points on bars led by Jacket nemesis Molly Lyngaas, who put up a meet-high score of 9.775 with her routine that inflated the Laker crowd and silenced Perham backers.

Perham fought hard, but fell short on beam with a score of 36.425, despite state-qualifying performances from Martinson and Hokanson for a final tally of 146.8.

Behind the scenes before official results were tabulated Lyngaas was informed of the Laker win.

She had two comments.

"I'm going to cry," followed by an exasperated, "11 years!" noting Perham's decade-plus of dominance up to Saturday.

Lyngaas had won the all-around in each meeting between the Lakers and Jackets this year.

She finished runner-up to three-time all-around champ Rachelle LeBlanc of Little Falls. LeBlanc tallied 38.025 to Lyngaas’ 37.675. Hannah Wendel of Alexandria (37.4) and DL eighth-grader Emma Disse (36.45) qualified for the state meet with third and fourth place all-around finishes.

Perham’s Peichel and Breitenfeldt were fifth and sixth place with scores of 36.4 and 36.375. Peichel missed a state berth in the all-around by .05 points.

DL had three state qualifiers on vault alone, as they garnered the top three slots, led by junior Allison Berg’s 9.675, freshman Leah Chavez’ 9.65 and Lyngaas’ 9.6.

Seventh grader Lexi Yliniemi even notched a 9.425, but fell short of a top four spot, which qualifies one for state. LeBlanc finished fourth with a 9.425.

Three Perham gymnasts will appear at state.

Seventh-grader Hokanson qualified with a third place finish on balance beam with a 9.2. Martinson finished fourth (9.2). Martinson also qualified with a fourth place bars finish (9.35).

Peichel will compete in Minneapolis on floor after finishing fourth (9.5).

The Class A state meet will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21-22 at the University of Minnesota’s Sports Pavilion.

Section 8A meet in Perham, Saturday, Feb. 15

Team results (*state qualifier): *Detroit Lakes 148.425, Perham 146.8, Alexandria 135.475, Fergus Falls 129.725, Little Falls 129.275, Long Prairie/Grey Eagle 119.2, Park Rapids 108.15.

Individual state qualifiers (top 4) –

Vault: 1. Allison Berg (DL) 9.675; 2. Leah Chavez (DL) 9.65; 3. Molly Lyngaas 9.6; 4. Rachelle LeBlanc (LF) 9.425…

Bars: 1. Lyngaas (DL) 9.775; 2. LeBlanc (LF) 9.45; 3. Emma Disse (DL) 9.35; 4. Jordan Martinson (Perh) 9.35…

Beam: 1. LeBlanc (LF) 9.525; 2. Hannah Wendel (Alex) 9.3; 3. Ashley Hokanson (Perh) 9.2; 4. Jordan Martinson (Perh) 9.2…Floor: 1. LeBlanc (LF) 9.625; 2. Lyngaas (DL) 9.575; 3. Disse (DL) 9.525; 4. Alexis Peichel (Perh) 9.5…

All-around: 1. LeBlanc (LF) 38.025; 2. Lyngaas (DL) 37.675; 3. Wendel (ALEX) 37.4; 4. Disse (DL) 36.45.



1. LeBlanc (LF) 38.025; 2. Lyngaas (DL) 37.675; 3. Wendel (ALEX) 37.4; 4. Disse (DL) 36.45; 5. Peichel (PER) 36.4; 6. Breitenfeldt (PER) 36.375; 7. Hokanson (PER) 36.225; 8. Appert (FF) 33.0.

Balance Beam

1. LeBlanc (LF) 9.525; 2. Wendel (ALEX) 9.3; 3. Ashley Hokanson (PER) 9.2; 4. Martinson (PER) 9.2; 5. Meyer (PER) 9.05; 6. Peichel (PER) 8.975; 7. Okeson (DL) 8.85; 8. Ostlie (DL) 8.725; 9. Lyngaas (DL) 8.725; 10. Breitenfeldt (PER) 8.675.


1. Berg (DL) 9.675; 2. Chavez (DL) 9.65; 3. Lyngaas (DL) 9.6; 4. LeBlanc (LF) 9.425; 5. Yliniemi (DL) 9.425; 6. Wendel (ALEX) 9.4; 7. Breitenfeldt (PER) 9.25; 8. Hokanson (PER) 9.125; 9. Disse (DL) 9.1; 10. Martinson (PER) 9.05; 12. Peichel (PER) 8.875.

Uneven Bars

1. Lyngaas (DL) 9.775; 2. LeBlanc (LF) 9.45; 3. Disse (DL) 9.35; 4. Martinson (PER) 9.35; 5. Breitenfeldt (PER) 9.325; 6.Chavez (DL) 9.3; 7. Wendel (ALEX) 9.25; 8. Meyer (PER) 9.225; 9. Olds (DL) 9.075; 10. Peichel (PER) 9.05; 11. Berg (DL) 8.75; 12. Hokanson (PER) 8.5.

Floor Exercise

1. LeBlanc (LF) 9.625; 2. Lyngaas (DL) 9.575; 3. Disse (DL) 9.525; 4. Peichel (PER) 9.5; 5. Peterson (DL) 9.45; 6. Wendel (ALEX) 9.45; 7. Hokanson (PER) 9.4; 8. Berg (DL) 9.25; 9. Breitenfeldt (PER) 9.125; 10. Meyer (PER) 9.1; 13. Emily Martinson (PER) 8.85.

Forum News Service's Brian Wierima contributed to this story.

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. 

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