DeMuse makes quick return from injury

The sophomore had shoulder surgery in May but was back to start the season.

Abby DeMuse performs her floor routine against Illinois at the Sports Pavillion on Feb. 6.

Sam Harper, Daily File Photo

Abby DeMuse performs her floor routine against Illinois at the Sports Pavillion on Feb. 6.

Thomas Jaakola

Sophomore Abby DeMuse returned stronger than ever after a major shoulder surgery last May.
 
 
Head coach Jenny Hansen said she was unsure DeMuse would be competing by this point of the year, but the sophomore has taken part in all five meets this season.
 
 
“Our hope was to have her at full strength by about mid-February, but she was diligent with her rehab and very committed to helping this team in any way she could and has come back better, stronger and more confident,” Hansen said.
 
 
DeMuse tied for fourth on vault with a 9.800 in the Gophers’ first meet of the season on Jan. 9, and she followed it up by taking third on the uneven bars against Maryland the next weekend with another 9.800.
 
 
As she continued to progress, she scored a career-high 9.875 to take first on the floor exercise Jan. 30 at Ohio State, her highest score on any event in college.
 
 
“Abby has such a great talent for the sport of gymnastics, but what makes her unique would be her power and grace in the sport,” sophomore Ciara Gardner said.
 
 
DeMuse also competed in the all-around competition last weekend when the Gophers hosted Illinois at the Sports Pavilion.
 
 
The meet was the first time she competed on the balance beam in college, and she finished last out of six gymnasts in the event with a 37.450.
 
 
There is still plenty of room for her to grow, Hansen said.
 
 
“She has the potential to be a great all-arounder for this team, and we want to see her continue to build on her previous performances each and every week just as she has been doing,” Hansen said.
 
 
DeMuse said her gymnastics career started because her parents couldn’t handle all of her energy as a kid. She then fell in love with the sport and has been working on honing her skills ever since.
 
 
“I just love performing and showing off what I have been working so hard for all year long,” DeMuse said. “So much time and effort goes into gymnastics, and being able to perform and show off some amazing routines is what I live for.”
 
 
The Savage, Minn., native doesn’t just express herself in her routines; she’s also enjoys painting in her free time.
 
 
“I absolutely love painting,” DeMuse said. “Good, bad, messy, ugly. Doesn’t matter to me how it turns out; I just love the process.”
 
 
The rehab process wasn’t always easy for DeMuse as she made her way back from her shoulder injury, but she’s made big contributions to the Gophers this season.
 
 
“She has come back very determined and with a great mindset to perform at a very high level, and it has not only been great for her but for the entire team to see,” Hansen said.