West Allis gymnast, like team, on comeback trail

Huddleston returns from injury in winning fashion

Feb. 12, 2013

The comeback spirit is being shown by the West Allis gymnastics team and particularly team captain Kori Huddleston.

After losing its first three dual meets of the season, West Allis won its second straight on Feb. 6, downing Port Washington, 123.975-115, thanks in part to a victory on the vault from Huddleston.

The triumph was the second in two meets for Huddleston, who initially was not sure she would be able to compete in either meet.

She had been in an auto accident in front of Hale High School at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 16, right before a semester final exam.

Huddleston's vehicle was rear-ended, triggering a four-car crash. Her car was hit so hard that it went into the car in front of her, then that car slid into another car in front.

She stayed in the back of an ambulance for about 30 minutes with a back injury, being monitored closely, but did not go to the hospital. She had been wearing a seat belt, which lessened the impact.

She did miss the exams that day, visiting the doctor for further tests, then staying home.

After sleeping with a hot pad and several trips to the chiropractor, she was cleared to return to gymnastics and competed in all four events against Brookfield, winning the vault with 8.525 points.

"My back felt better, but still not 100 percent," she said. "I was confident, though, because vault is one of my best events. I wanted to push through, and I didn't want the injury to keep me out of my best event."

Huddleston then competed against Port on Feb. 6, capturing the vault title again, this time with 8.7 points.

Her quick return from the injury is surprising, Huddleston said.

"I didn't think I would return against Brookfield," she said. "I was nervous about doing gymnastics again. I didn't want to rush back and make it worse, so I took it easy. My coach (John Glass) told me to just do whatever I could that night."

She said her back still hurts, especially during practice.

West Allis was helped in the Port meet by freshman Sydnee Tomczak, who won the balance beam with 9.0, the floor exercise with 8.75 and the all-around with 33.4.

Huddleston said she feels the team is coming along.

"We have been improving," she said, "not only in meets, but as a team, we are coming together."



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