FORT WORTH, Texas — It was something straight out of a Disney movie.

The star gets injured during the season, the team then has to scrape and claw its way to where it wants to be, and then — shockingly — the maimed star returns at the biggest moment to lift the team to victory.

It is the type of story that has played out on the silver screen again and again and Thursday night at Dickies Arena, college gymnastics fans witnessed it live and in person.

Grace McCallum’s return to competition was storybook. There is no more apt way to describe it.

McCallum, who hyperextended her right knee on Feb. 10, in Fort Worth no less, came back for Utah during the semifinals of the NCAA women’s gymnastics championships and delivered.

She competed on two events — bars and beam — and didn’t miss a beat, despite having sat out seven straight competitions.

McCallum scored a 9.9500 on bars, good enough for her to tie for second overall on that event.

When she stuck her dismount, tears flowed, for both her and her Utah teammates.

“Right when I finished my routine I thought, ‘Dang, I really did that,’” McCallum said. “I wasn’t sure I would be able to stick my dismount because I just started doing them a couple of days ago. It felt really good.

“... I told myself I wasn’t going to cry, but I couldn’t help it. Just the amount of support I had from the team in that moment. It was unreal and the tears started flowing.”

On beam, McCallum’s 9.9250 was the difference for Utah, propelling the Red Rocks ahead of Oklahoma and into first place in their semifinal (Maile O’Keefe’s perfect beam routine clinched a berth for Utah in Saturday’s national championship meet).

It was a long and arduous road back for McCallum, a road that, as she alluded too, had hardly concluded prior to Thursday’s competition.

“The road here was kind of tough,” McCallum said. “Getting hurt that late in the season but also having enough time. I didn’t know if it was possible. But I didn’t really let that get to me. I said, ‘You know what, if you really want to compete at nationals you are going to do everything you can.’”

The moment she returned to Utah after her injury, McCallum was back in the gym, doing physical therapy, basically anything and everything she could to return to competition.

Only just last week did she begin dismounting the bars during training, though, and she only completed her first full beam routine since mid-February last Tuesday.

“I did extra workouts, everything I could to get here,” McCallum said. “I did all the PT. It definitely wasn’t an easy road but it was worth it and definitely made nationals this year so much more meaningful.”

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McCallum isn’t a stranger to ill-timed injuries. Ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she broke her hand, an injury that cast immediate doubt on whether she would be ready to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials, let alone be good enough to earn a spot on the U.S. team.

She did, of course, make it back in time, made the U.S. team and wound up winning a silver medal.

McCallum leaned on her experience with that injury this time around, though she admitted that the most recent comeback was the more difficult, crazy as that may sound.

“I feel like I took some things from my hand injury, just with how close it was to the Olympics,” she said. “This one being in season was a lot harder mentally, just because I love being out there competing so much. Having to watch from the sidelines can be really hard sometimes. I love my teammates but it just isn’t the same as being up there.

“I did lean on (my experience) a little bit. If I could come back (from injury) and make the Olympic team, I knew I could make it back this season.”

With her return, Utah may well be the favorite to win the NCAA championship Saturday. On Thursday, the Red Rocks looked the part at least, after downing the defending champion Sooners and the rival Bruins.

And in the aftermath of the thrilling victory, McCallum was clear — nothing to this point in her storied gymnastics career has felt quite like what she experienced inside Dickies Arena.

“It felt really good,” she said. “It probably was the most accomplished feeling I have felt in my whole gymnastics career.”