Right: Emily Dahlstrom is just one of several talented veterans returning for the Wolfpack gymnastics team this season. Photo by JohnMolene
Veterans return to lead Park gymnasts

Park will build around three veteran gymnasts this season in senior Leah Smith, junior Ashley Lentz and sophomore Emily Dahlstrom.

This is hopefully a getback- to-normal season for the Wolfpack, who didn’t even start competing last season until late January because of Covid and had a very limited schedule.

“We’re hoping to just have a season and have it be a little more normal than it has been the last couple of years,” said Park head coach Ali Flaata. “We’re excited to go back to some invitationals because those were all canceled last year.

Team strengths will be on the floor and beam, Flaata said.

“All of our seniors and juniors are back so we have some good upperclassmen leadership,” said Flaata.

Smith, a senior, was consistently Park’s top scorer in the all-around as a junior last season. Smith, Lentz and Dahlstrom all competed in all four varsity events last season. Lentz qualified for the state meet last season on the vault but had to scratch because of injury.

“Leah as an amazing bar routine,” said Flaata. “She worked super hard this summer. She’s coming in a lot stronger and a lot more consistent so we should see some big scores from her right away. On vault we have Ashley as a flipper and Emily and Annelisa (Faletti) so we should see some big scores from them over there, too.”

Park will have to replace three seniors from the starting lineup in Kennedy Blaschko, Breanna Mellingen and Ashlyn Gillen.

Moving to the varsity will be ninth grader Rena Jamison who competed for Woodbury Mega last season.

“She’ll make a splash for sure,” said Flaata. “She has a lot of power, a lot of talent we just need to harness and refine a little bit to get her polished.”

The Wolfpack open the season at home against Roseville Thursday, Dec. 2.

December 1, 2021