Utah gymnast Missy Reinstadtler has learned as much patience as she has gymnastics of late. Hopefully now, in her senior year, all the lessons will pay off for her.
Reinstadtler has spent much of the season recovering from offseason ankle surgery, an injury that affected her in 2019 as she competed mainly on the bars, hitting 19-of-20 routines and taking three wins.
The offseason surgery required a long rehabilitation period that left her behind the rest of the team.
“I didn’t get into the bulk of rehab until August when I started running,” she said. “I’ve only been tumbling for about a month but I don’t think it’s a big deal, it has been easier on the body.”
Reinstadtler is at a point now where she could compete on all four events for the Utes, although she has yet to break into the balance beam lineup and has competed only once on the floor, earning a 9.425 against Arizona.
But considering that was her first floor routine since her sophomore year, she will take it. She earned a 9.7 on floor in exhibition in Utah’s last meet and could be in the floor lineup when the Utes compete against Oregon State on Saturday at 1 p.m.
“Training has been going really well and I feel like I’m 100 percent on all events,” she said. “I didn’t start tumbling on floor until late but it wasn’t a big deal. I think it helped the pounding on my body.” Reinstadtler, from Brick, N.J., was a solid all-around gymnast as a sophomore, earning second-team All-America status. She would love to be back in the all-around this year and is pushing for a spot.
Competing in the all-around carries a certain special recognition, but Reinstadtler knows she has to earn her spots too, even if she has seniority.
“I feel good and I want to do it, but I have to trust the process too,” she said. “Others are working hard too.”
Utah coach Tom Farden continues to change his lineups and Reinstadtler brings a certain element to gymnastics that makes it hard to keep her off the competitive floor, he said.
“She is a very detailed and intricate worker,” Farden said. “She has a wow factor to her gymnastics that even on this very talented team she sticks out. She is an east coast kid and I like recruiting that part of the country because those kids have a strong attitude and determination.”
Reinstadtler has always been a strong bar worker for the Utes, finishing as the Pac-12 runner-up on the event as a freshman. She made the most of her chances last year, with three wins on the event and posting a career high 9.95 against Arizona State.
This season she has consistently earned 9.825 or higher on the vault and bars. Overall she has been happy with the results, especially considering her timeline of injury recovery.
Even though she has focused on her own gymnastics, Reinstadtler has kept tabs on her teammates too and likes how the younger gymnasts are developing. There were questions about the team’s youth and if it would be able to be a contender on the national scale, but the Utes have answered any doubts.
“There is a raw determination,” she said. “It’s a little less about trying to replicate what past years have been like and about breaking traditions. There is a different feeling on the team.”
Reinstadtler is playing a bigger role as a leader, now that her gymnastics is coming around, that role could expand on the floor too.
“I have a lot of individual goals, but ultimately I want to be there for the team,” she said. “I want to do what needs to be done and if that is in the all-around, great, if it isn’t I will do the best where I am needed. This team’s success is my success.”
NO. 3 UTAH VS. NO. 21 OREGON STATE
At the Huntsman Center
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Records: Utah 7-0, 3-0, Oregon State 8-3, 3-0
Series: Utah leads 71-10-1
Last regular season meeting: Utah won, 197.15-195.45
Of note: The Utes are coming off a season high 197.55-197.325 win at Cal. …The Utes have had nine gymnast earn individual titles, led by Kim Tessen with six. …Oregon State has never won in Salt Lake City. …Oregon State had a season high 196.825 against Stanford. …Highest ranked gymnast for Oregon State is Kaitlyn Yanish who is ranked tied for then on floor with a season average of 9.908. …Utah has hit 115-120 routines.