After four years of competing at a high level for ASU gymnastics, senior Sammie Seaman bid adieu to the Sun Devils when she competed in her last home meet against Northern Illinois on March 14.
The only senior on the team was given a proper farewell with a video on the Jumbotron and standing ovation from the audience.
“I didn’t think I was gonna cry at all, then when the video came on, (I got emotional),” Seaman said.
The fans at the Northern Illinois meet weren’t the only ones that are appreciative of what Seaman’s brought to the program. She’s trusted by the coaches and looked up to by her teammates.
Junior Natasha Sundby is one of the other tenured veterans on the team, and she spoke on what stood out to her, having been Seaman’s teammate for three years.
“I think just her ability to go out and hit (routines) every single time (stands out),” Sundby said. “I think since (her) freshman year they’ve counted on her a lot, especially when they had a ton of injuries she always stepped up when they needed her and got the job done.”
As the only senior on the team, Seaman was relied on by coaches and teammates to help mentor a Sun Devil team comprised of eight sophomores and four freshmen.
“I think it forced her to go into a leadership role and it helped her mature,” assistant coach Tom Ward said.
“I think she was a great leader,” Sundby said. “She had a lot to do with our success this season. She’s just a fun person to be around, she always has good energy and always has good things to say about everyone and how we’re doing.”
One of the four freshmen, Beka Conrad has taken on an all-around role for ASU this season, excelling while most freshmen aren’t relied on until later in their career. She talked about what she took away from Seaman.
“Just how to be a team leader, like taking charge and staying positive all the time. She always finds the positive in stuff and keeps a strong attitude,” Conrad said. “I kinda looked up to her as an inspiration to work harder, because I saw how much she’s achieved already and how everyone loves her.
“The coaches really appreciate her for how hard she works, so I just tried to do that, so I can achieve as much as she has.”
Ward appreciated Seaman’s passion for the sport and energy she brought every day.
“Her work effort and love for the sport is something she brings every day,” Ward said. “She just really enjoys gymnastics. Her passion for the sport comes through every day.”
While Seaman has a limited amount of meets left in an ASU leotard, her impact the program will be felt for years.
While coaches say she’d make a great coach herself, Seaman, an avid baker, has her eyes set on going to culinary school after receiving her nutrition degree.
As her career winds down, Ward says she continues to perfectly embody “the love of being a Sun Devil.”
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