Local College Gymnast Recovering After Spinal Injury
Kathryn Mahoney, a Lyons Township graduate, Western Springs resident, and standout on the Michigan State gymnastics team, sustained the injury while preparing for her senior season.
Western Springs resident Kathryn Mahoney suffered a fractured C6 vertebra while practicing for the Michigan State gymnastics team on Dec. 29.
The 2007 Lyons Township High School graduate was working on her vault when she sustained the injury.
"Kathryn is a strong, determined and positive individual," said Michigan State head coach Kathie Klages in a news release. "I believe these qualities will carry her through the difficult months that will follow. We all love Kathryn and she has an amazing support system, beginning with her family and extending down to her teammates and the Michigan State administration."
According to the Michigan State sports information department, surgery to stabilize Mahoney's C6 vertebra was successful. The senior remains at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, MI.
Hospital officials and a family member could not provide any additional information on the severity or nature of her injuries.
"We haven't had any update from doctors since the original release," said Michigan State assistant sports information director Jim Donatelli on Tuesday. "We will wait and send out more information when we know more."
The Spartans were expecting big things from Mahoney this season after the senior missed most of last year after having pins surgically inserted into her foot. Mahoney was just one of two Spartans named to the Big Ten's 2011 Gymnasts to Watch List. The Academic All-Big Ten selection posted a season-best 9.850 in the floor exercise at the NCAA Regional Championships last season.
"The entire Michigan State athletic department and Michigan State University community join me in expressing our support for Kathryn and her family," said Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mahoney family in this difficult time. In both her athletic and academic pursuits, Kathryn has proven to be a strong competitor, and we have no doubt that same competitive spirit will aid in her recovery process."
The Spartans, who were selected by the coaches to tie for sixth in the 2011 Big Ten preseason poll are scheduled to open their season on Friday against Michigan, Iowa and Western Michigan.
Patch will update when further information about Mahoney's recovery is available.