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Hard Worker: Meaghan Sievers, Deuel Gymnastics

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The Deuel Cardinals are favorites to repeat as state gymnastics champions this weekend in Brookings with one of their top performers returning, Meaghan Sievers.

Last year, for the first time in 16 state tournaments, the Madison gymnastics team didn't go home with a championship. Instead it was the Cardinals, snapping the streak behind the strong performances of Sam Wiekamp, and Sievers, at that time just an eighth grader.

"It's one of those things where it's kind of intimidating because with all those titles," Sievers says, "It's like 'Oh my gosh, they have to be so good.' But then you think back and you're like, 'We're just as good as them.'"

Now, in her third year on Deuel's varsity squad, the freshman Sievers has the Cardinals back in contention for another title.

"Meaghan's a great athlete," Deuel Gymnastics Coach Lynn Gudmundson says, "She's fearless, sometimes stubborn, which is one of those qualities that makes her a great gymnast. She's very, very hardworking."

All year round, Sievers, a 4.0 student, puts in about 15 to 20 hours of practice time a week.

"That's why we are where we are," Gudmundson says, "Because the girls are dedicated enough to work that hard."

Sievers admits she did have to work her way up to that mark.

"I started out with one," Sievers says, "Maybe two [hours a week], so it's just gotten to be more and more."

But most people who know her say her work ethic with the sport now is really no surprise.

"She could be playing ping pong and she'd be excellent at that becasue she'd work hard at it," Gudmundson says.

It's hard to believe Sievers would get as big a kick out of ping pong as she does in gymnastics though.

"If it wasn't fun," Sievers says, "I wouldn't keep doing it. I really enjoy it."

And as long as that's the case, Deuel has a good shot of starting a state championship streak of their own.

Follow KDLT Sports at @KDLTSports and KDLT Weekend Sports Anchor Kolbe Nelson at @KolbeNelson for opinions, links, and updates on Twitter. And don't forget to check out the KDLT Sports Facebook Page
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