Samantha Zelden has quite a busy schedule.
The St. Scholastica senior plays volleyball, basketball and softball at SSA.
Her best sport, though, is track and field.
She will begin her final season in that sport this weekend when she competes in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Track & Field Classic.
The annual track showcase, comprised of athletes from Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas, begins Friday and concludes Saturday at Tad Gormley Stadium.
“I am very much looking forward to it,” Zelden said. “I want to go out with a bang and leave my mark and really just enjoy the season.”
Zelden was named Most Outstanding Field performer last season at the Sugar Bowl meet when she missed the meet record in the javelin with a throw of 145 feet, 3 inches. The meet record is 145 feet, 10 inches set by former Ruston standout Kristen Clark in 2014. Zelden threw 145 feet, 6 inches that year to finish second and holds the second and third best throws in meet history.
“My ultimate goal would be to get that record that I just missed last year,” Zelden said. “But since it’s my first meet of the season, I just want a solid mark to get my season started on the right track.”
St. Scholastica’s first meet of the season last week was canceled because of the weather. In addition, Zelden has battled a nagging elbow injury dating back to last season. So this weekend’s meet will be her first since competing in the Junior Olympics in Virginia in August.
“With softball and the weather, my practice time has been limited,” Zelden said. “I haven’t had as much on the track time as I’d like, but I’m doing as much as I can weather permitting.”
Zelden, who signed with Alabama in November, also will compete in the discus at the Sugar Bowl Classic. She is the two-time defending 4A state champion in the javelin and finished second in the discus the past two years at the Sugar Bowl Classic.
Zelden is one of over 2,000 athletes who will be competing at Gormley.
Hoover High School from Alabama swept the boys and girls titles last season.
It was just the third time a school has swept the girls and boys Sugar Bowl titles. Fontainebleau did it in 2006 and Ruston pulled off the double in 2005.
Louisiana schools will be looking to keep the team trophies in the state after out-of-state schools won the girls and boys titles the past two seasons. The last time an in-state school won the title was in 2013 when the John Curtis boys and the McDonogh 35 girls won.