Tumble leads to academic success for Columbia River student

first_imgA tumble off the balance beam cost Grace Mammarella the chance to perform at state for Columbia River High’s gymnastics team her junior and senior years.But, in return, the anterior cruciate ligament injury she suffered provided her the inspiration for a project that landed her a trip to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair this May in Pittsburgh.Mammarella, 17, earned entry to the competition by winning the Southwest Washington Science and Engineering Fair on March 3 with a project chronicling the changes women’s knee ligaments undergo during their menstrual cycle. She won the overall competition, besting 95 other competitors from four local high schools.Changes in the laxity, or looseness, of knee ligaments during the menstrual cycle, Mammarella’s research proved, make women athletes more susceptible to knee injuries.She experienced the phenomenon firsthand during her junior season.During a practice routine, she hit her knee on the balance beam. She could not walk afterward but thought the pain would go away. It did not.last_img

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