Utah senior Kyndal Robarts hasn't run out of desire, but she has run out of time.
Robarts, who has been working hard to rehab her knee and return to competitive shape ever since she was injured at Nebraska on Jan. 22, has decided to apply for a medical hardship extension from the NCAA, which would allow her to return next season.
The Utes believe she will get the extension since she competed in just two meets before suffering the injury.
Robarts has been working on some elements of her balance beam and uneven bars routines in the hopes she might compete next week when the Utes travel to Norman, Okla., for the NCAA regionals, but she won't be ready in time.
"While it is disappointing for this year's team, the thought of having Kyndal return next season is exciting," Utah coach Greg Marsden said. "It will be helpful to have her leadership and experience on a team that will be made up primarily of freshmen and sophomores. Next year's team just got a lot stronger."
Robarts entered the season in great shape and was ranked No. 1 in the country on the vault, scoring 9.925 and 9.95 in the Utes' first two meets on the event. She was the team's MVP in 2010.
Her potential return means the Utes should lose only Jacquelyn Johnson and Gael Mackie from the current lineup.
It was thought that losing Robarts in the balance beam lineup, where she served as the anchor, was going to hurt the Utes the most.
However, freshman Mary Beth Lofgren has filled the role well, scoring 9.85 or higher six out of the 12 times she has competed on the event.
While the rest of the university is on spring break, the Utes have been working hard in the gym even though they don't compete again until April 2.
Marsden decided to go with the heavier schedule because so many team members missed practices last week because of injuries or illness.
"We didn't get much done last week or the week before and we feel like we have to get some things done and address some issues," he said.
"There seems like there are a lot of teams in that 196 range and we have to make sure we are peaking right now so we can do our best job at regionals."
The last time
The last time Utah was seeded No. 2 into regionals and also ranked No. 7 was in 2007. The Utes won the West regional and finished second at the NCAA Championships that year.
P NCAA regionalsAt Norman, Okla.April 2, 3 p.m.