Unable to compete the past two weeks after suffering a concussion in practice, Utah senior Jacquelyn Johnson tried to make the most of her role as cheerleader.
Happily, she will return to her role of being a key competitor for the No. 3 Utes (4-1) Friday when they host No. 13 Washington (6-5) at the Huntsman Center.
Johnson, one of the most improved gymnasts in the offseason, will compete on the floor and uneven bars against the Huskies. Not only is she recovered from the concussion, but also Johnson has a new appreciation for being in the lineup.
"It was fun to cheer my teammates, but I'd much rather be out there doing it," she said. "I only had one day of workouts last week so I understood the decision [to not compete against Washington] but it was still hard."
Johnson's goal is to compete in the all-around for the Utes this year. Twice she has competed on all three events and at Nebraska competed on exhibition on the balance beam giving her at least the feeling of competing in the all-around.
Now that she is recovered from the concussion, she'll keep pushing others in the lineup, Utah coach Greg Marsden said.
"She worked hard all summer and in the strength testing she blew everyone away, no one was even close to her," he said. "It's paying off for her and we need our seniors to contribute because they understand what it is all about."
No. 13 Washington at No. 3 Utah
P At the Huntsman Center
Start • Friday, 7 p.m.
Records • Utah 4-1; Washington 6-5
Series • Utah leads, 39-0-1
Last meeting • Utah won, 196.9-195.075, April 10, 2010