SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

May 11, 2013

Nelson gears up for Nationals, Arkansas

Samantha Nelson has gone to the Junior Olympic Gymnastic Nationals at Level 10 four years in a row, but since this time will be the last the St. Mary’s senior and Peabody native is determined to make it special.

“My goals are to do the best I can and to have fun,” said Nelson, who will leave for the University of Arkansas in August to begin her college career. “Since this is my last opportunity I want to make it memorable.”

Two years ago Nelson was second on floor exercises at the nationals in California. Last year she was bothered by injuries and didn’t do as well. She qualified for the nationals which are in Minnesota this weekend, with a strong performance at regionals in Springfield a few weeks ago. Nelson flew out on Wednesday and will return tomorrow.

Nelson trains at Ace Gymnastics in Ipswich, and says she likes all the events and doesn’t have any one favorite. She will train all summer before leaving to join the Razorbacks, a top Division 1 program that recruited her heavily.

“I’m really looking forward to going to college; I can’t wait,” said Nelson. “They have a program all set up for me with things I need to do to be prepared to help the team right away.”

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The Flip Flop Friends will hold the third annual Mother’s Day Walk tomorrow morning beginning at 9 a.m. at Cy Tenney Park. Peabody friends Jeannie Hallinan, Cathy Gravel, Gina Rocha, Karen Braz, and Terri Garofano will participate in their fifth Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Three Day Walk on July 26-28.

The popular six mile Mother’s Day walk is one of their main fund raisers with all proceeds going to this event, and a donation of $10 per person ($ 5 for students) or $25 per family is requested. Checks can be made payable to either the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Three Day or to Flip Flop Friends.

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