Carlson sticks the landing at State

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






DGS+senior+varsity+gymnast+Abby+Carson+takes+her+place+above+the+number+two+on+the+podium+at+the+IHSA+State+gymnastics+meet+held+in+Palatine%2C+IL.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Carlson sticks the landing at State

DGS senior varsity gymnast Abby Carson takes her place above the number two on the podium at the IHSA State gymnastics meet held in Palatine, IL.

DGS senior varsity gymnast Abby Carson takes her place above the number two on the podium at the IHSA State gymnastics meet held in Palatine, IL.

Andrea Davenport

DGS senior varsity gymnast Abby Carson takes her place above the number two on the podium at the IHSA State gymnastics meet held in Palatine, IL.

Andrea Davenport

Andrea Davenport

DGS senior varsity gymnast Abby Carson takes her place above the number two on the podium at the IHSA State gymnastics meet held in Palatine, IL.

The 2017 Division Gold Conference Floor title was in her grasp. With 10 seconds left in her floor routine, she ran hard into her last tumbling pass, but as she was finishing her round-off, flip flop, double full, she felt her knee twist inward, causing a pain so strong she couldn’t move.

The physical trainer rushed across the floor, as did Varsity Girls Gymnastics Coach Kristyn Campos. The crowd applauded encouragingly as then sophomore Abby Carlson was assisted off the floor. Needless to say, Carlson was unable to finish the meet and unable to finish out her season.

Soon after, Carlson found out that she tore her ACL. But after an eight month recovery period and a strenuous 2017-18 gymnastics season, Carlson attended the 2018 NHSA Girls State Gymnastics meet held in Palatine on Feb 16. She qualified for the state finals on the floor exercise and placed second in the state.

“I can’t even describe it. I’m like pinching myself to make sure it’s real. Since I was a freshman, my goal has been to go to floor finals because floor is my favorite event, and especially to have a victory like that after such a hard injury. I am just so grateful for the opportunity and my family, friends, coaches — everyone that has been pushing me along the way. Just personally, it just shows my mental strength of what I’ve been able to overcome to get to this point,” Carlson said.

And although she overcame the biggest obstacle of returning to practice after such a hard injury, Carlson struggled mentally with her recovery.

“[Conference, in 2017], I didn’t know I had torn [my ACL], but … I knew that there was something seriously wrong … I knew in the back of my mind that my season was done so just trying to come to terms with that was pretty hard,” Carlson said.

In October 2017, Carlson was cleared to begin practicing the sport she spent her life working for. At that point, her junior year had already begun and girls gymnastics season was fast approaching.

“I did a lot of physical therapy … so at that eight month mark it was just really about pacing myself because I knew I just wanted to get as much stuff back as I could as fast as I could,” Carlson said. “I definitely came in with lower expectations … But my expectation for this season was just to enjoy gymnastics more because I kind of lost that my sophomore year.”

Campos, knowing Carlson had just begun her training again, couldn’t be more pleased with Carlson’s efforts.

“I was thrilled with Abby’s season and her state finals appearance. All I ever want for any athlete is to see them accomplish their goals. Abby was electric during her state finals routine and really showed that she deserved to be on the podium … The key to her success is her drive and motivation based on her pure love of gymnastics. You can see her enthusiasm when she performs,” Campos said.

As the head varsity girls gymnastics coach for eleven years, Campos has seen her fair share of injuries, but she believes that Carlson has come out stronger for it.

“Abby is a very determined and passionate athlete … I had no doubt that Abby would return and be stronger than ever. Her success is a tribute to a determined mindset to accomplish the goal of being at the top of her craft,” Campos said.

As far as Campos was concerned, she was right. Carlson’s state finals appearance had not just her team cheering, but the competition too.

Junior Varsity and Assistant Varsity Girls Gymnastics Coach Christine Toellen is astounded by the amount of success Carlson has had in such a short amount of time. Recalling Carlson’s inability to compete in the 2016 state uneven bar finals, she sees Carlson’s success as an experience to gain from.

“I am so proud of her … I leave practice everyday in awe of the amazing things my gymnasts do. The fact that Abby was able to come back after an injury like hers and not skip a beat or second guess a skill is absolutely astonishing, and I leave practice everyday in awe of the mental hurdles my gymnasts conquer every practice, everyday, without even batting an eye,” Toellen said.

Not only has Carlson’s character and success been noticed by her coaches, it has also been noticed by her teammates. Senior and varsity team member Lindsay Tom hopes Carlson can see the benefits of her time off.

“I hope she learns to like, even if there are obstacles in your way, to never give up because … if you want to reach the goals you set for yourself you have to actively work hard for them … and I think that’s what she did … She cares a lot about the sport and that makes her a really good athlete,” Tom said.

Although her season began as a constant struggle to regain her strength, Carlson’s motivation has reached new heights as her journey continues to impact her self-confidence and future goals.

“I definitely think that going through this injury has made me a lot stronger mentally. It was definitely hard before it got better, but it has made me stronger — both physically and emotionally — because I have kind of gotten to take the time off and realize why I do gymnastics, and just reflect on my gymnastics career so far,” Carlson said. “After coming back from an injury, I have just learned to love gymnastics a lot more, not be so focused on trying to win; trying to ‘win this or win that, or trying to get this score’ so I think just going out into competition and having such a fun time with the stuff that I can do is definitely one of the main reasons I am still doing it … I guess I would say, it’s the power and the skills and the tumbling, but it is also the friendships that you make and the bonds between coaches and teammates … It’s not just a sport, it’s a life for me.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email