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History in the Making (Sam Wiekamp)

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The State Gymnastics Tournament starts on Friday in Aberdeen and in Class 'A' the Madison Bulldogs will be looking for their 16th straight team title.  Our Taco John's Athlete of the Week hopes to end that streak and maybe make some individual history as well.

Two years ago, a seventh-grade gymnast from Deuel named Sam Wiekamp took her sport by storm.  Still two years out of high school, Wiekamp became just the fifth gymnast in state history to win every single individual medal at the state tournament.

"Some of the skills that she was doing I hadn't spotted since way back in my college days when I was coaching at Valley City.  Some of them are brand new," said Wiekamp’s coach, Lynn Gudmundson.

The next year Wiekamp nearly matched that feat, winning four of the five events.  Now a freshman, she is once again expected to compete for more medals at state.

"It is weird just to think that everyone's after me, instead of me being on the hunt, I'm the prey," said Wiekamp.

She will be tough to track down though.  Not only does Wiekamp own all of those titles, but she also has the best individual scores in Class 'A' history in the vault, balance beam, floor exercise and the all-around.

In two years, Wiekamp has won nine individual state gymnastics championships, but she is still missing one trophy on her mantle.

"I want to win all-around, but I want our team to win because that would be amazing," said Wiekamp.

That would be especially true if Deuel can dethrone the Madison Bulldogs, who have won the team title 15 years in a row.

"Pretty sure we'd have a party,” said Wiekamp.

Wiekamp has always been the excitable type.  She could barely contain herself after sweeping the medals two years ago.

Now she should be happy about her potential place in the record books.  With four more years left to compete, Wiekamp is five individual titles behind Madison's Kristin Osterberg for the most ever in South Dakota.  And there is at least one person who wouldn't be surprised if she ties that mark this year.  Her coach.

"I have no doubt that if she hits every routine, she'll win every event," said Gudmundson. That would only add to her already impressive legacy.

Jason Anschutz, KDLT Sports, Clear Lake.

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