No. 2 Utah Gymnasts Defeat ASU, 197.725-196.6 Friday In Salt Lake City

March 18, 2005

Unranked Arizona State University established its best team score of the year with a 196.6, but it was not enough as the No. 2 University of Utah women's gymnastics team defeated the Sun Devils, 197.725-196.6 Friday in front of 11,212 fans at The Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City. ASU's record fell to 6-8 on the season, but more importantly, the Sun Devils established a quality road number for the Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) and kept its postseason hopes alive.

The Sun Devils, who have been plagued by injuries all season, were without the full services of All-American junior Ashley Kelly (sore foot), who competed in just two events (balance beam and uneven parallel bars). ASU also was without freshmen Karissa Vossler (knee) and Taryn Shockley (arm) while junior Lauren Powell (ankle) also was not at full strength. ASU is down to six healthy gymnasts.

Annabeth Eberle of Utah won the all-around competition, scoring 39.675. Utah's Nicolle Ford was second (39.55) while teammate Ashley Postell was third (39.45). ASU sophomore April Boone was fourth (39.4). Sophomore Cassandra Jusino of ASU was sixth (39.3, a season-high). Lauren Powell of ASU was sixth (39.2).

The Sun Devils scored a 49 or above on all four events (49.2 on floor, 49.1 on vault, 49.1 on bars and 49.2 on beam) for the first time in 2005. In fact, ASU had not scored at 49.0 or above in more than two events in a meet prior to tonight.

Utah's Jessica Duke and Eberle tied for first-place on the vault with identical 9.925 scores. ASU's Boone placed third (9.9), tying a career-high. Sun Devil freshman Josie Hancock established a career-high 9.85, good for a fourth-place tie, far surpassing her previous high of 9.65. Utah's Nicolle Ford and Postell tied Hancock for fourth (9.85). Sun Devil junior Lauren Powell scored 9.825, marking the first time she vaulted for ASU since January 28. ASU sophomore Donna Chance set a season-high with a 9.725. Utah posted a team score of 49.375 on vault while ASU recorded a 49.1. ASU had not scored above a 48.65 as a vault team all year.

On the uneven parallel bars, Utah's Ford and Rachel Tidd tied for first-place with 9.925's. ASU put together its third-best uneven parallel bars score of the year, a 49.1. Powell tied ASU's best bars routine, a 9.875, tying a personal season-high. Powell tied teammate Kelly and Utah's Postell and Eberle for third-place. Utah scored 49.45 on bars.

On balance beam, Utah's Postell took individual honors with a perfect 10.0. Kelly of ASU was second (9.95), tying a season-high. ASU scored a 49.2 on beam while the Utes scored 49.425 on beam. Powell's 9.825 was a season-high for ASU. Sun Devil sophomore Jusino posted a 9.8 on beam, tying a season-high.ASU scored a 49.2 on the floor exercise, its second-best team score of the campaign. Boone's 9.925 was good enough for a third-place tie with Ford and was a season-high. Eberle of Utah took first with a perfect 10.0. Hancock, who had performed on floor just once all year (9.075 vs. Minnesota on March 12), posted a career-best 9.875 and tied for sixth. ASU's lone senior, Kari Muth, tied a season-high with a 9.825 on floor. Powell had not competed on floor for ASU since January 21, but posted a 9.675.

With the regular season now complete, ASU's next meet is the 2005 Pacific-10 Conference Championships, Saturday, March 26 hosted by the University of California, beginning at 6:00 p.m. PT in Berkeley.

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