Toll is taken: Injuries force Tidd to retire from gymnastics

The Red Rocks received a painful, albeit unexpected, blow on Wednesday, when All-American Rachel Tidd officially announced her retirement from gymnastics.

The junior has been battling back problems for much of her collegiate career, and finally came to the decision over Winter Break to hang it up. She hadn’t trained since last April.

“I’m very disappointed and I know that Rachel is very disappointed,” said Ute head coach Greg Marsden in a statement Wednesday. “While I have realized that this was the likely outcome for some time now, it was important to me that Rachel felt it was her decision to make.”

Tidd leaves the Utes with an impressive list of accomplishments after only two years on campus.

The California native arrived on campus in a vaunted recruiting class that also included All-American Nicolle Ford. Tidd had an extensive rsum that included a fourth-place finish in the all-around at the 2001 USA championships and an eighth-place finish on beam at the 2001 world championships.

In college, she finished 12th in the all-around at the gymnastics national championships last April, while tying for third on the uneven bars during the individual championships.

As a freshman, Tidd won the regional vault title before coming down with mononucleosis just prior to nationals. The illness forced her to watch from the sidelines as the team finished sixth overall.

In the classroom, Tidd earned several academic All-America honors while majoring in French.

“She is a talented athlete, a great student and a wonderful person,” Marsden said. “Although we miss her presence in the gym, I believe this decision is best for Rachel’s long-term health.”

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