Nielsen named finalist

Roseville Area High School senior Sammy Nielsen has been named a finalist for the Lions Female Amateur Athlete of the Year award. Nielsen is one of five finalists up for the honor, which is based on athletic ability, grade-point average and good citizenship in school and the community.

Nielsen is a cross country and track and field athlete at Roseville and has earned a slew of honors in both endeavors. She has participated in the state meet in both sports and won a state championship in her freshman track season as a member of Roseville’s 4x800-meter relay team.

Nielsen made headlines and picked up three different athlete-of-the-week awards last spring by winning the 800 meters at the Hamline Elite Meet. She is a two-time runner-up at the state meet in the 800.

In addition to running for Roseville, Nielsen has also competed in various Amateur Athletic Union and United States Track and Field national championship events. She won the 800 meters at the 2008 USTAF nationals and the 800 and 1,500 meters at the 2012 AAU nationals.

In cross country, Nielsen helped Roseville reach the state meet and has been all-conference four times. In addition to running for Roseville, she also ran at the Nike Heartland Sectionals in 11th grade.

Academically, Nielsen carries a 3.93 grade-point average, which places her in the top 25 of her graduating class. She was a two-time academic all-state selection in cross country and has been academic all-state in track three times. Nielsen is also a member of the National Honor Society.

Outside of athletics, Nielsen has participated in numerous other activities at Roseville, including band, choir, guitar group, Raiders Against Destructive Decisions and student council. She has also volunteered outside of school for such groups at Feed My Starving Children, Como Zoo, girl scouts and the Children’s Museum.

Next year, Nielsen will attend Drake University in Iowa on a cross country/track and field scholarship.

The winner of the Lions award will be announced at a banquet on May 21 at the Prom Center in Oakdale. Tickets are available and can be obtained by contacting Ken Detviler at KenDetvil@aol.com.

Should Nielsen win the award, she would be the second consecutive Roseville Area High School student to earn it. Last year’s honoree was Erika Allen, who graduated in 2012 and now attends Bethel University, where she plays goalie for the women’s hockey team.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com

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