Female Area Athlete of the Week: Dehn claims all-around title for Flyers

Little Falls gymnast named area athlete of the week.

Maddie Dehn.

Maddie Dehn tumbled her way to an all-around victory against Detroit Lakes last week.

The Little Falls junior gymnast scored a 32.85 to claim the all-around title in the Flyers 131.45-126.35 loss to the Lakers.

Dehn’s best performance came on the floor, where she scored a 8.7 to claim the individual title.

“I was just trying to do my best,” Dehn said. “I tried to picture my routines in my mind on the bus ride up.”

Flyers head coach Rachelle LeBlanc said that Dehn has pushed through a lot of adversity this year to perform well.


“She works really hard in the offseason and that shows,” LeBlanc said. “She keeps her strength up and that shows. She’s definitely improved her skills.”

Floor is her favorite event and it’s one where she’s added challenging jumps and twists to her routine to score higher.

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“Floor is probably the event I focus on the most because it’s my best event probably,” Dehn said.

It’s her leaps that impresses LeBlanc.

“Her leaps are so high and she has a lot of flexibility, so she can hit those shapes and doesn’t get deducted,” LeBlanc said. “She really gets some high points.”

She added a new skill to her floor routine, which is a roundoff one-and-a-half layout with a front handspring layout half and a run up back handspring, back handspring, one half tuck.

“Last year I struggled with it,” Dehn said. “But this year after practicing it a lot it helped.”

The roundoff one-and-a-half layout skill is what gives Dehn a lot of bonus points on the floor.


“She’s been working on that twist for a while now,” LeBlanc said. “It sets the girls apart who can do that kind of twisting.”

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The skill that impresses LeBlanc the most is Dehn’s natural ability to stay balanced.

“She is so good in practice at hitting routine after routine and getting that repetition,” LeBlanc said. “Something that I always push is doing our leaps and tumbling the exact same every time and Maddie is the perfect example of that.”

Dehn credits her balance to being in gymnastics since she was a young age.

“I built it up from there,” she said. “I’ve always competed in all four events, so it’s not really new I guess.”

Dehn scored a 8.6 in vault, which was tied for third. As of now her vault routine is pretty basic by her standards.

“I have good form,” she said. “It’s one of the easier ones to get higher scores if you are tight and have good form and I do.”

LeBlanc added: “She is very tight on her shape on the vault, so she doesn’t get deducted. She’s very powerful and can get a lot of distance on her vault. There’s not a lot of meets where she doesn’t hit her vault.”


The beam is another event Dehn likes to compete. Against Detroit Lakes she scored an 8.05 on the beam for a third-place finish.

“Her leaps are great and then she does a full-twisting dismount where she gets a lot of bonus,” LeBlanc said. “Still working on getting the dance down, but her leaps and tumbling are great.”

Dehn admits to getting nervous on the beam, but uses her balance to her advantage to finish her routine.

“A lot of repetition helps with that,” she said. “On the beam, I try to focus on just the beam and myself. Just stay in the moment like I’m in practice.”

On the bars, Dehn scored a 7.5 for fifth place. Bars are a difficult event to score high in according to LeBlanc.

“She did have a little bit of a mishap against Detroit Lakes, but bars are always the hardest events for the girls as of skills,” LeBlanc said. “She’s making progress in practice though.”

Dehn said she hasn’t added many handstands on the bars yet and once she does her scores will increase.

“I like bars a lot, but it’s difficult to get better scores in it,” she said. “I’m working on getting full difficulty for that.”

LeBlanc called Dehn a joy to coach.

“She’s so light hearted and you can tell how much she trusts me,” LeBlanc said. “It’s great to have that relationship. She is a hard worker. She never leaves the gym unless she has the right number of reps and that’s what sets her apart.”

Other notable performances:
Basketball: Tori Oehrlein, Crosby-Ironton, tallied 21 points and 14 rebounds against Waseca.
Afton Crocker, Pequot Lakes, scored 20 points against Moose Lake-Willow River and scored 19 against Aitkin.
Tabetha Allen, Staples-Motley, scored 25 points against Aitkin.
Rae Nyberg, Aitkin, scored 23 points against Staples-Motley.
Ramsey Tulenchik, Pine River-Backus, scored 24 points against Cass Lake-Bena.
Emily Dehler, Pierz, scored 24 points against Zimmerman.
Hockey: Riley Fogarty, Northern Lakes, scored the game-winning goal against Detroit Lakes

Maddie Dehn

Year: Junior

School: Little Falls

Sport: Gymnastics

Highlights: Won the all-around against Detroit Lakes with a score of 32.85.

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