Women's Gymnastics Climbs To 13th In National Rankings

March 11, 2002

TEMPE, Ariz. - By virtue of its first-place finish versus Utah State and Southern Utah with a season-high away score of 196.100, Arizona State's women's gymnastics team improved its Regional Qualifying Score from 195.135 to 195.435 and climbed from 17th to 13th in the national GymInfo rankings, released Monday.

The Sun Devils have turned in their best performances of the season over the last two weekends, first with a school record 197.850 that defeated Arizona (March 1), then with the aforementioned 196.100 that downed Utah State and Southern Utah, Friday - only the 12th score in school history to crack the 196-point barrier.

The Sun Devils were preseason selections to finish ninth in the country, matching their 2001 NCAA finish, but following the preseason poll ASU had been ranked no higher than 15th.

ASU is neighbored in the national standings by fellow Pac-10 teams Arizona, ranked 12th with an RQS of 195.635, and Oregon State, ranked 14th with an RQS of 195.400. The Sun Devils have only one more opportunity to improve their RQS when they compete in the Pac-10 Championships, March 23. Both Arizona and Oregon State have an additional meet prior to Pac-10s.

The RQS format, the current criteria for ranking teams, is figured by taking a team's top-six meet totals, of which three must be from away contests, dropping the highest score and averaging the remaining five.

After the conference championships, the top-18 teams in the nation will be seeded out three-apiece into the six NCAA Regionals, where they will be joined by three teams from within the corresponding region to make a field of six. The top-two team finishers at each regional qualify for the 12-team NCAA Championships field. Because ASU is the meet host of the South Central Regional, April 6, the Sun Devils are guaranteed to compete at home in their bid to qualify to the NCAA Championships as a team for the 17th time.

The Sun Devils' current RQS is made up from away scores at Utah State (196.100), California (195.025) and Washington (194.800), with home scores from the UNO's Classic (195.800) and Stanford (195.450) meets. ASU's record-high 197.850 vs. Arizona is the dropped score.

To improve their RQS, the Sun Devils would have to score above a 194.800 at Pac-10s, its total at Washington. Last season ASU placed fifth at Pac-10s with a team score of 195.725.

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