Auburn University senior and Huntersville native Samantha Cerio announced the end of her gymnastics career after injuring both legs in the NCAA Regional Friday, April 5, in Baton Rouge, La.
The former Bradley Middle School student and South Iredell High graduate was trying to execute a handspring double front on her first floor routine when she landed at an awkward angle on the mat causing her to fall backward on the floor, according to NOLA.com.
"Friday night was my final night as a gymnast. After 18 years I am hanging up my grips and leaving the chalk behind," the all-conference gymnast wrote in an Instagram post. "I couldn’t be prouder of the person that gymnastics has made me to become. It’s taught me hard work, humility, integrity, and dedication, just to name a few. It’s given me challenges and road blocks that I would have never imagined that has tested who I am as a person."
Cerio trained at KPAC Gymnastics in Troutman under Kristie Phillips prior to attending Auburn.
Cerio is the daughter of Becky and Michael Cerio. She is president of the Auburn Student Athlete Advisory Council and plans to graduate in May with a degree in aerospace engineering.
The Huntersville Fire Department showed support for its hometown athlete on Twitter.
“Wow! @sam_cerio hey there - we love your bravery, beauty, tenacity & toughness. You have NO limits in what you can achieve from here. We are proud of you!”
Cerio had surgery Monday with renowned sports injury specialist Dr. James Andrews.