Just when you thought things couldn't get worse, things did. No matter how bad things got, it was pretty much assumed that UCLA could win an NCAA title in women's gymnastics, being defending champs and returning several key players. Our top returning player would've been Vanessa Zamarripa, who won the NCAA vault championship last year, and is on the U.S. national team.
But today she tore her
ACL Achilles in practice, and will have to miss the entire 2011 season.
"I feel so badly for Vanessa," said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. "She was just coming back from tweaking her elbow and her ankle and was looking really good. The injury was not a result of a fall or miscue in her gymnastics. She was punching for a tumbling pass on floor and felt it pop. It's an unfortunate injury, but we know that she will recover well. However, for this season, this is a huge loss to our team. As much as our team and fans will miss Vanessa's gymnastics this season, we will also miss her personality on the competition floor. Vanessa's gift has always included her ability to have fun while competing well and focused."
We'll still have some very good gymnasts who'll obviously step it up, but losing a player of Zamarripa's caliber is irreplaceable. This is a huge blow for the gymnastics team. Vanessa, we're all wishing the best for you, and hope you make a full recovery.