ASU gymnast injured in accident returns to the high bar

Six months ago Arizona State University Freshman Mark Treybal hurt his back during practice.

A teammate happened to catch that frightening moment on camera. That video may be hard to watch.

What is incredible is that the gymnast is now back on the high bar, ready to compete in his first competition as a Sun Devil.

It wasn't supposed to happen; Mark Treybal's back buckled as it hit a steel bar. He has been a gymnast for 16 years.

"I knew I messed up as soon as I let go, I saw my feet go above the bar, I knew I was going to hit it, I just did not know where," said Mark Treybal.

"It was the tap, we call it the tap on high bar, if you don't get the tap and put the toes right where they belong, at the right time in that circular swing it will throw you in a different direction," said Head Coach Scott Barclay.

This could have ended the ASU freshman's athletic career.

"It went thru my mind, I thought I'd be done after that," said Treybal.

"In a way they were very thankful, it could have been worse," said Barclay.

If the bar had hit Mark's neck, he could have been paralyzed, but it didn't. Mark didn't even break his back in the fall; he was diagnosed with a stress fracture on his lumbar vertebrae. 

"Constant pain, every step, every move, it just hurt," said Treybal.

Treybal had to wear a back brace for 4 1/2 months. The bar was out of reach, but after a lot of physical therapies, practice, and sheer will not only is he back on the high bar 6 months after the accident, he's ready to compete in his first collegiate competition.

"He's really proved himself to have the attitude that it takes to come back from something like this, not everybody can do it," said Barclay.

"The team helped me get thru it, I couldn't have done it without them, they pushed me through," said Treybal.

"The greatest thing I think these guys learned is they don't have to give up, they can work through whatever life throws at them," said Barclay.

The team is heading to Seattle for their next competition. It will be the first time Treybal will be competing with the team, he was injured just after the start of the school year, so Saturday is a huge day for him and the team.

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