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Prep gymnastics: Three things to watch

12/04/2013, 10:06pm CST
By Star Tribune

A strong case can be made for Northfield junior Bailey DuPay being the best female high school athlete in Minnesota.

At the Northfield Gymnastics Center, Northfield sophomore gymnast Bailey DuPay works on her routines.

gymnastics three story lines

More hardware for DuPay?

1 A strong case can be made for Northfield junior Bailey DuPay being the best female high school athlete in Minnesota. DuPay recently won her third consecutive diving championship at the Class 1A state meet and immediately turned her attention to defending her Class 1A all-around championship. “She has been at practice since the day after the diving meet,” Northfield co-coach Paul Bernhard said. “She will be going in … with all her skills from the state meet. Really, her vault is the only thing she has left to get back.” DuPay also won the balance beam and floor exercise in 2013, giving her six state individual titles (three in diving, three in gymnastics).

Raiders redux

2 Roseville won four consecutive Class 2A team titles from 2006 through 2009. Northfield supplanted the Raiders for two seasons, but they returned to form with championships in 2012 and 2013. Roseville appears primed for a three-peat with a veteran group led by senior Carly Wagner, the defending uneven bars champion, and junior Isis Muller, who was second in the all-around in 2012. Coaches Mark Curley, Mike Flatten and Julie Castellano have developed a winning formula at Roseville, taking advantage of a thriving youth program at the school. Roseville’s depth and skill level make the Raiders tough to beat.

What’s the story at Perham?

3 Short and stocky, with a quick smile and trained eye, coach Charlie Fleck developed Perham as a gymnastics power, guiding the Yellowjackets to eight consecutive Class 1A team championships from 2004 through 2011. Things will be different this year as Fleck’s contract was not renewed by the Perham School Board. This came in the wake of Fleck’s termination at the head coach of the Lakes Area Gymnastics Academy. The school and the academy are not commenting on the reasons for Fleck’s dismissal. The new coach is former Perham gymnast Jenna Schmitz, who won the Class 1A all-around championship in 2010.

Jim Paulsen

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