Star gymnast to miss next season due to injuries

Marshall Hampson

After finishing the season 14th in the 2010 NCAA West Regional and winning the Western Athletic Conference beam title, sophomore gymnast Cayla Boyce will redshirt next season due to injuries.

Boyce dealt with a torn labrum all season and made the choice at the beginning of the season to compete this year and sit out next year.

“I had to decide to perform in the events that least affected my shoulder,” Boyce said. “I sacrificed for the team this year, so they all know I won’t be able to compete next season.”

Boyce performed her freshman year as an all-around competitor, but she said due to the torn labrum, she had a difficult time on bars and decided to drop the event. She had surgery on her shoulder April 26 and said she must rest for a full week before starting four to six months of physical therapy.

“It’ll be so painful,” Boyce said. “Physical therapy will help me get my range of motion back in my shoulder and will help build strength.”

She had one of her best seasons, scoring career-highs on the beam with a 9.900 and the floor with a 9.825. She made her first regional appearance.

At the West Regional on April 10, she finished with a score of 9.725 after scoring a 9.875 at the WAC Championships to claim the beam title. Boyce also maintained a beam score of 9.700, which was the highest season average on the team.

With Boyce out for next season, head coach Kim Hughes said he will make some adjustments to the lineup.

“She’s going to be a huge loss to our team because she’s proved her talent,” Hughes said. “We have some girls like Jasmine Lipka and Amanda Blauvelt to step up on beam.”

Blauvelt competed on the vault and the uneven bars for most of the season. She led the team on bars Feb. 19 with a season-high score of 9.800 against San Jose State University, but has not competed on beam in her career as a Hornet.

Hughes said Lipka, the team’s MVP, was the team’s most consistent three-event performer.

Lipka said she fully supports Boyce’s decision to redshirt and is preparing for next season without her teammate.

“My goal is to be a competitive all-arounder next season,” Lipka said. “I just need to stay consistent. She is a great teammate and a great motivator to the team. She’s kind of goofy and I’m kind of goofy, so we got along well last year. We’re going to miss her in the starting lineup.”

Lipka averaged a 9.641 on beam this season while maintaining a 9.578 average on bars and a 9.750 average on the floor.

Boyce will continue to strengthen her shoulder for another year in practice after the initial four to six months of physical therapy.

“She knows that she’ll be doing physical therapy and as long as she’s not tumbling on the beam, she’ll be working on her turns and things like that,” Hughes said. “It’s a matter of her being patient and us being patient as coaches.”

Boyce said she will able to attend all the home meets next season and will cheer for the team from the sideline.

“I’ll still be side-coaching and I’ll train with the girls when I can,” Boyce said. “While I’m at the meets, I’ll still be pep talking and motivating the girls.”

The team finished in sixth place at the WAC Championships but did not make it to regionals in the past two years.

Boyce was one of three gymnasts to make the west regional, but she said she wants the team to make it next season.

“I want them to go as a team next year because there’s more pressure competing as an individual,” Boyce said. “I have to get them in the mindset to get them there.”

Boyce said she will come back her junior year as an all-around competitor. In her freshman year, she competed in seven of the 10 meets as an all-arounder, scoring her career-best mark of 38.900 against University of Washington.

Hughes said he is looking forward to Boyce’s return following her surgery and rehabilitation.

“She’ll be a huge gain when she comes back for her junior and senior years,” Hughes said.

Marshall Hampson can be reached at mhampson@statehornet.com