U.'s Hofmann granted hardship, another year

College Gymnastics
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During her senior night, Utah gymnast Gritt Hofmann was disappointed in her floor routine. She delivered one that scored a 9.825 - below her standards - as her last routine in the Huntsman Center.

Luckily for her, she gets to have senior night all over again.

Hofmann, a senior last year, has received a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA, allowing her to compete another year.

As a freshman, Hofmann competed just one vault, then sat out the rest of the season because of a back injury. Utah coach Greg Marsden didn't think Hofmann should have to give up a full year of eligibility for that vault, and the NCAA agreed.

"We never really considered doing this until she was done, because she has been through a lot," Marsden said. "She has struggled with injuries, but when I talked to her, she was interested in coming back, so we gave it a shot."

Hofmann is spending the summer at home in Germany, but planned to return to Utah next year anyway to complete her degree in interior design.

Hofmann has had her share of injuries, she can't compete on the uneven bars because of a shoulder problem and this year broke her finger and injured her wrist, keeping her out of a meet against Georgia.

However, she remained one of Utah's best on the floor, where she was the second at the NCAA North Central Regional championships and earned All-America honors at the NCAA Championships.

She scored a team-high 9.9 on the floor to help Utah finish third nationally.

Her return means the Utes only have to replace senior Annabeth Eberle.

Marsden has signed a strong recruiting class, including Kristina Baskett, who recently won the all-around title at the USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic Championships.