Lothrop’s comeback has had its ups and downs. She believes the two events she has competed on in almost every meet in this season, bars and beam, have gotten even better than before the injury. She has set a new career-high score on beam this season, recording a 9.950 in a meet against Arizona State, and tied her career high on bars with a 9.925.
Despite the positive improvement she has noticeably gained on those events, Lothrop’s plate has been a little more empty than what she was used to in years past. As a former all-arounder, Lothrop had been accustomed to competing on all four events in every meet, but she has yet to do so this season.
“We’ve been trying to stay a little more conservative in [vault and floor],” said co-head coach Megan Marsden. “If we said ‘go,’ I’m sure she would find a way to go. Hopefully we are going to make it through the season without needing to use her on those events.”
Part of the reason Lothrop hasn’t had to compete on floor and vault is because of the depth Utah has on those events and the success the team has had throughout the campaign.
The Red Rocks currently lead the nation on floor and are sitting in second behind LSU on vault. With the team being so good at those two events, coaches are saving Lothrop’s talents for the events where she is really needed.
Even though coaches are hoping they won’t be forced to use Lothrop on vault and floor throughout the remainder of this season, she is training hard on them just in case and wants to compete on them again at some point.
“I’ve been really pushing for trying to get back in and trying to make sure that my foot and the rest of my body can handle it,” she said. “I think at this point, it’s not even my foot. It’s making sure my back and everything stays good for the rest of the season and next year.”
When Lothrop initially suffered her season-ending injury last February, she was unsure if she even wanted to attempt to complete her final two years of eligibility. The 2013 postseason changed all that. As Utah missed the Super Six for the first time since 1999, Lothrop realized she wanted to return.
“I told myself that I don’t want [this year] to be my last year,” she said. “It was around that time that I knew for sure that I wanted to come back.”
No matter what lineups she finds herself a part of, Lothrop is ready to help out the team in any way possible.
By pushing hard through rehab and coming back strong this year, she has proven to her team and her coaches that she is back not just for the present, but the future as well.
“It’s a little hard, because of course I would love to try to [compete all four events] again,” she said. “If not this year, then for sure next year.”