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Musto Has Support From Team During Recovery

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By Sallie Sharer,, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The women's gymnastics team hopes to welcome back freshman Samantha Musto this weekend after a leg injury on floor exercise two weeks ago which left her leaving Rec Hall for x-rays at meets end.

8524362.jpegAfter misstepping in her floor routine in the quad meet against Minnesota, Kent State, and Towson, it was not until head coach Jeff Thompson saw the signs of pain as she continued her routine and called Musto off the floor, despite her attempt to push through her performance.

Her injury was essentially a bone bruising, and has been recovering well, she said.

Musto, who hails from Mays Landing, N.J., won Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors two weeks consecutively at the beginning of the season, and has been a fundamental part of the lineup for the Lions this season.

She won the all-around competition on Jan. 12 at Illinois-Chicago, posting a score of 39.025.

Doing gymnastics at that caliber again soon is Musto's main focus, she said.

"It'll be hard to make lineups again," Musto said. "Everyone is improving. It's not going to be easy."

For Musto, her week of practice was much lighter than usual.

Easing herself back into normalcy in the gym, the young gymnast says she is motivated to get back to where she was before her injury.

When the rest of the Lions had off of practice on Wednesday, Musto was in the gym to practice. To her surprise, some of her teammates showed up to support her.

"My team is behind me 100 percent," Musto said. "I came in by myself yesterday and they all came in to support me in practice."

Head coach Jeff Thompson said some of the girls even put on their grips and swung bars while Musto was practicing.

"It really touched her that they showed up for her to support her," Thompson said.

Senior and co-captain Sharaya Musser said the team's actions spoke volumes.

"Just the fact that the whole team came in on our day off to watch Sammie really shows where this team is at," Musser said. "We all really love and support each other, and we don't just say it, we live it through our actions."

Musto is targeting to make the uneven bar lineup, but the balance beam is also still a possibility.

"I feel good," Musto said. "I'm slowly getting back into everything, adding a little more each day."

Despite her goals to compete this weekend, Thompson is more concerned with her being healthy.

"The great thing about our sport is you can lose every time you compete, and still win the national championship on the last day," Thompson said. "So, whether we beat Ohio State this weekend or not, its more important to me as a coach to have great routines and performances, and coming out healthy and more prepared for the next weekend. So if Sammie isn't ready to go, we're not going to throw her out there just to try and win."

Musto is hopeful she will perform on beam and bars this weekend against Ohio State in a double duel Saturday night in Rec Hall.

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