Utah's gymnastics team hasn't been able to use two-time defending NCAA balance beam champion Summer Reid much in its first two meets because of wrist and calf-muscle injuries. She was expected to gradually improve.
But in a Thursday practice accident, Reid again tore the same calf muscle, and coach Greg Marsden says she will be out "indefinitely. It's worse than before," he says.For the short term, including Monday's 7 p.m. Utah-at-Utah State meet in the Smith Spectrum, the loss of Reid shouldn't hurt the Utes much. She'd only done one floor routine in the first two meets, and the Utes have known for months that, with her wrist problem, she'd be slowed for at least the first half of the season.
But now she's unable to do much conditioning work, so when she does come back, she'll probably not be in competition shape.
At least Reid and Jenny Schmidt (second knee operation) are the only ones out for Utah, which welcomes senior captain Traci Sommer back after a knee sprain. Sommer will do three events tonight as the second-ranked Utes try to return to the win column after losing at Michigan Jan. 23 against 20th-ranked USU.
Utah (1-1) and Utah State (3-2) have opposite pre-meet situations. The Utes have been off for 10 days. Marsden said that was good for some, bad for others who didn't practice well.
Utah State coach Ray Corn said Sunday night he wouldn't know until sometime Monday which of his athletes will be able to compete just three days after Friday night's loss to Brigham Young, 194.175-193.125.
Sophomore Christy Denson, who won Friday's all-around (38.25), has ongoing hamstring problems and hasn't in the past held up well in back-to-back meets when they're close together, Corn said. Several other Aggies have nagging back problems, and Kim Richards of Salt Lake City has had a "mysterious foot problem," says Corn, who fears a stress fracture.
Both teams need to resolve performance problems from their last meets. Utah, the best beam team in college gymnastics, had several falls on that apparatus at Michigan, and Marsden says he's got to use his best lineup and all the upgraded difficulty from the week of practice time because, "It's only our third meet, and we really need the meet experience."
USU, which also suffered four big errors (two counted) but posted its best score of the young season, needs to get its focus back after a disappointing loss to an in-state rival on its home floor. "I have mixed emotions (about the BYU meet - high score, losing)," said Corn. "We're disappointed, but we're going to have to turn loose of it."