Dec. 31, 2010
Salt Lake City, Utah -
Alyssa Gale, a freshman on the Utah gymnastics team, will retire from the sport due to ongoing knee problems following three surgeries. Gale, whose knee injury and subsequent surgeries occurred before she joined the Utes, made an unsuccessful attempt to return to gymnastics during preseason training. She will remain with the team as a student manager. The coaches had anticipated that the Simi Valley, Calif., native would contend for an all-around position before learning the extent of the injury.
The Utes will likely be without another talented freshman as well when they open their 2011 season against defending NCAA champion UCLA on Jan. 7 in the Huntsman Center. Victoria Shanley, who competed in the Red Rocks Preview on Dec. 10, was diagnosed with mononucleosis on December 16 and has been unable to train since then. Shanley, a Junior Olympian from Colorado Springs, Colo., is expected to return sometime in the next few weeks.
“We are sorry that Alyssa will not be able to compete for us,” said Ute co-head coach Greg Marsden. “She is a beautiful gymnast who loves the sport and it is disappointing to all of us that her career has been cut short. The loss of Alyssa leaves us a little shorthanded—especially until Victoria is cleared to return—but the rest of the team is back in the gym, training hard and anxious for the season to begin.