Forest Lake graduate Shane Sampair is earning stripes as a new member of the Tiger men’s golf team at Tennessee State University this year after transferring from Division II Fort Lewis College in Colorado following his freshman year.
Sampair transferred as a result of his family relocating to the Tennessee State area, but is making the most of the transition.
“One big difference is the Bermuda grass down here, which is a big change to get used to on the green and with club contact— and it’s a lot more humid outside,” Sampair said. “But I like that I get to play year-round golf and work a lot on my game.”
Sampair recorded a season-low 72 this spring on the first day of the Big Blue Intercollegiate Invite in Nashville, Tenn., on April 14. The Tiger went on to score a four-over 220 (72-75-73) during the three-day tournament, earning him second in pars for the event (42) including 13 on the final day of play. Sampair also recorded three straight birdies in the final round to tie for 43rd of 92.
Sampair, who finished his high school career with an average of 74 strokes on 18 holes, said he struggled a bit this season due to an adjustment on the mechanics of his swing. He expects to average 72-73 strokes next season.
Although Sampair resides in Tennessee, he stayed in touch with Forest Lake head coach John Buck throughout the season.
“It’s nice to talk to him every once in a while because he had such a huge impact on my golf game,” Sampair said. “Just the way his system is set up with having development teams, it allows the younger golfers to play more and see what they need to do on the course. He really helped me out— he’s the best coach I’ve ever had.”
The Tigers finished eighth in the Ohio Valley Conference Championships in Dickson, Tenn., with a final score of 588 over 34 holes.
Other On-Campus athletes
–Nebraska tennis player Dusty Boyer emerged as a rising star in his freshman season with the most overall wins in the year for the Huskers. Boyer went 19-16 overall between singles spots one through four. Boyer and teammate Bradford Zitsch also led the charge in doubles with a record of 9-8, mainly at the No. 2 spot. Boyer also recorded a record of 3-1 at doubles one through three with fellow Nebraska standout Marc Herrmann. The young Husker team featuring eight freshmen rounded out its season ranked No. 62 after falling to Michigan State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, despite Boyer putting up points at No. 1 singles by defeating Aaron Pfister, 7-6, 6-2, and at No. 2 doubles with partner, Hermann.
–Griffin Lentsch closed a successful career at Grinnell College in Iowa by recording the third-highest leap in school history in the high jump by clearing 6-5 at the Midwest Conference Track Meet, good for fourth place. Lentsch also ranks ninth all-time in the triple jump after recording a distance of 42-6 3/4, placing seventh at the conference meet. This spring, the Pioneer learned that he was the recipient of the Morgan Taylor ‘26 Award for Most Outstanding Athlete in a Single Sport for Grinnell College basketball.
–Shannon Nelson, who was mistakenly excluded from the in-state On-Campus edition, debuted this spring as a steady outfield presence for the Winona State softball team. The Warrior played in 34 games this spring and recorded a batting average of .241. Winona State went 37-14 overall this year while advancing to the NCAA Division II Super-Regional in Oklahoma, where its season ended following two losses to Central Oklahoma. The Warriors finished third in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference standings behind Minnesota State University Mankato and the University of Minnesota Duluth, who both went 19-5 in the league.
–Other Forest Lake area athletes to participate in out-of-state collegiate athletics this spring included: Tyler Colling (University of North Dakota track and field), Anne Van Heel (North Dakota State University track and field), Zack Decker (Coe College tennis), Joe Jackson (Briar Cliff track and field) and Brayanna Bergstrom (Baylor University equestrian).