Sometimes a small sampling is all it takes to recognize an athlete’s abilities.
This was the case for Manitowoc Lincoln sophomore gymnast Alyssa DeZeeuw, who despite only competing in two meets after suffering a serious ankle injury, was recently named to the first-team all-state on floor in Division 1 by the Wisconsin High School Gymnastics Association.
DeZeeuw’s season, and possibly career, came to a premature end at the West Bend Invite on Jan. 11 when she was on pace to break the Ships’ record in the all-around with just vault left. She landed wrong, breaking her ankle.
“All she had to do was stick the landing and she’d have smashed the record,” said Alyssa’s father, Jim DeZeeuw, on the moment his daughter’s season ended. “I think I even have it on film, she went to stick the landing and her ankle just broke.”
Earlier in the meet, Alyssa tied the school record on floor with a 9.35 and still finished first in the all around with a 35.85 despite the injury.
It was later discovered she broke the Talus bone in her ankle, which affects the ability to balance.
The season progressed with DeZeeuw on the sidelines but her impact on the team was not lost on Lincoln coach Jacque Bartow. Bartow nominated her to the WHSGA for All-State recognition knowing it would be a long shot.
“You’re supposed to give an event average and we were only working on two scores,” Bartow said. “…If she didn’t suffer her injury she would have gone on and been an All-State performer anyway.”
Last season DeZeeuw reached State as a freshman en route to being named the HTR Media Gymnast of the Year and was chosen as a second-team All-State member.
Bartow fully expects DeZeeuw to return to the sport next season.
“No doubt she’ll be back,” Bartow said. “I’m not a doctor but I think she’ll be back in some capacity knowing what type of competitor she is.”