Missy Reinstadtler performs her floor routine as the University of Utah Red Rocks take on the Georgia Bulldogs in their final match of the regular season at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, UT on Friday, March 16, 2018. (Photo by Adam Fondren | Daily Utah Chronicle)

When the time came for yearbook day in fifth grade, Missy Reinstadtler decided she wanted to be a veterinarian. It was something everyone else was doing. Fast forward to her sophomore season in college and Reinstadtler, a biology major, is using the science she has been learning for her future career to help her become a top competitor as a part of the University of Utah Red Rocks.

“Fueling your body with nutrition, how your body works doing gymnastics, that’s a big contribution,” Reinstadtler said. “Then you have mental stuff and that’s really important, you kind of don’t even realize [it’s] happening.”

Things still rarely go as planned, and the season didn’t start off how Reinstadtler wanted. This season has been full of highs and lows, but each day she’s growing, both as a gymnast and a teammate.

“It’s been a learning experience,” Reinstadtler said. “I definitely came into this season a lot more prepared than I did last season, so just learning how to be at my best every week and staying healthy to make sure I can do what I can.”

Reinstadtler has added more dimensions to her tumbling this year, and it’s paying off. The sophomore took on more responsibilities this season, becoming one of Utah’s four all-around competitors. Her additional responsibilities have only added more pressure and have demanded more from her body than previously.

“It’s a process for Missy in particular, she’s extremely talented and was an international elite when we recruited her,” said co-head coach Tom Farden. “It’s a process to learn the college game and to grind through 15 meets a year. This year she added an event. She’s added a new beam series, she added vault, so she’s added more to her plate.”

Reinstadtler credits the team’s trainer for helping her stay ready with different treatments and rehabbing after practices and meets.

The pressure for Reinstadtler came to a boil at the beginning of the season. She had uncharacteristic falls, and fans could see the disappointment on her face. Over time, that disappointment turned into motivation. With this transformation, Reinstadtler is producing some of her best gymnastics at just the right time as the team prepares for the NCAA Gymnastics Championships.

“It feels like you have a lot of weight on you and nothing is really coming together,” Reinstadtler said. “[It] can get a little frustrating and stressful. So when everything kind of just clicks, it just feels good. It feels like hard work is paying off.”

During the Salt Lake City Regional, Reinstadtler hit her career high on beam, landing a 9.925. Reinstadtler burst with joy and earned high praise from teammates after that moment.

“Missy killed it,” said MyKayla Skinner. “That was so cool to watch and it was really fun overall.”

With all that Reinstadtler has learned from this season, the coaches see not only her current potential, but what she can become in the future as a member of the Red Rocks.

“I think she’s doing a good job and has to stay the course — use all the tools she has here, stay the course and we feel that she’ll blossom,” Farden said. “She’s already a valuable team member, but she’ll continue to blossom.”

c.mcmanamon@dailyutahchronicle.com

@curramac2

Carra McManamon is a sports writer for the Daily Utah Chronicle where she covers a variety of sports. She has interned with Deseret News Sports where she mainly covered college football. Carra currently is a ESPNU Campus Rep and also contributes for Ute Nation on Rivals.com.

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