Throughout her career, Marissa Gutierrez has been the exception to the rule of injured gymnasts.
But after suffering an ankle injury on Feb. 22 against Arkansas, Gutierrez is likely to miss the No. 4 Crimson Tide’s upcoming meet versus the No. 6 UCLA Bruins.
Gutierrez competes on the vault, balance beam and floor exercise for the Tide and has been a strong competitor for much of the season. She landed awkwardly on her ankle during her first tumbling pass in the floor exercise Friday.
“Sometimes ankle sprains can be five days, sometimes it can be five months,” head coach Sarah Patterson said. “My experience is you just don’t know until you see how a person responds.”
Patterson said Gutierrez is currently wearing a walking boot and will more than likely have to wear ankle tape when she returns to action.
Patterson said the nature of gymnastics makes resting the ankles paramount.
“When you see our sport, it’s not the difference of just running up and down,” Patterson said. “You’ve got to be able to push off of it. It’s got to be 100 percent to do the event she does and like she does.
“I’ll probably say that the last few weeks of her career, she’ll be wearing tape on her ankle. She never has. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen her in ankle tape.”
Teammates are rallying behind Gutierrez, and everyone is stepping up to fill the holes she left.
“We’re all stepping up, and the freshmen have done a great job of stepping up in practice this week,” Sarah DeMeo said. “We’re going to need them this week.”
Tide remains No. 4 in the rankings
The Alabama gymnastics team retained its No. 4 national ranking after posting its second-highest score and highest road score of the season at Arkansas last Friday, Feb. 22.
Starting this week, rankings are decided by Regional Qualifying Score, a formula which takes a team’s top three road scores, its next three highest scores home or away, drops the high score, and averages the remaining five.
By RQS, Oklahoma moved up to the No. 1 spot, while previous No. 1 Florida dropped to second. Michigan remained in third, and LSU jumped the UCLA Bruins to claim the fifth spot. The Tide will take on the No. 6 Bruins this Friday at home before closing out its regular season against the No. 1 Sooners March 15. In between, Alabama travels to No. 5 LSU.
Leading in today’s Crimson White: