One last big meet: Austin’s Sam Sheldon will compete at state Saturday

Published 6:30 pm Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Austin senior Sam Sheldon isn’t just competing at the Minnesota Class A State Gymnastics Meet this Saturday, she’s carrying on a Packer tradition.

The Packers have been sending gymnasts to state for the better part of a decade and Sheldon was able to keep that success going as she was Austin’s lone qualifier for state this year. She’ll compete in floor and vault at the individual meet in Maturi Pavilion at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis at 11 a.m Saturday.

“It would’ve been sad not to go. It’s cool knowing the streak is still going and it’s kind of an honor knowing I kept it going,” Sheldon said. “My goal there is to just have fun. That’s about it.”

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Sheldon grew up in the gym around some of the better gymnasts Austin has seen, including two-time all-around state champ Sela Fadness, one-time all-around state champ Maddie Mullenbach and two-time bars state champ Jen Boyle. Sheldon has learned plenty from that group.

Austin’s Samantha Sheldon will compete in two events at this year’s Minnesota Class A State Gymnastics Meet this weekend.

“Sela Fadness, Jen Boyle and Maddie Mullenbach have raised this program and they’re definitely my role models. These girls (on our team) have looked up to those three for years. They’re a really big part of this gym,” Sheldon said.

Sheldon is set to attend the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire next season and she plans on competing in gymnastics, diving or cheerleading when she gets there.

That means this Saturday could be Sheldon’s last performance ever as a gymnast.

“It’s kind of sad and it’s kind of exciting. Hopefully I’ll compete in college and hopefully I’m not done yet, but it might be my last show,” Sheldon said. “Gymnastics has helped me with school and it gives me something to do. I’ve met a lot of friends and it’s helped me a lot through my high school years.”

Last season, Sheldon took 15th in the beam in her first individual appearance at the state meet.