No. 23 Sun Devil Gymnasts Host No. 12 Arkansas in First Annual
March 14, 2007
This Week --
The No. 23 Arizona State Sun Devil gymnastics team hosts No. 12 Arkansas in the first annual 'Flip for the Cure' on Friday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena. It is also 'Senior Night' for seniors April Boone, Cassandra Jusino, Lisa Lanza and Lauren Powell. The Sun Devils, under 27th-year head coach John Spini, return 12 gymnasts to the squad. After finishing ninth at last year's Championships and taking first in the North Central Regional, Spini and the Sun Devils look to compete in the NCAA Championships again this season. Spini is currently ASU's longest-tenured head coach, and is second on the all-time Sun Devil head coaching list. Former Sun Devil women's tennis coaching legend Anne Pittman holds the distinction as the longest-tenured ASU head coach at 31 seasons. Spini's regular-season record is now 318-123-2. His won-loss record at home is 170-29-1.
Flip for the Cure--
The No. 23 Arizona State women's gymnastics team will be hosting its first annual 'Flip for the Cure' meet this Friday, March 16 to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Three Day Walk. Twenty percent of gate proceeds will go to these two foundations which help raise money for breast cancer research. The team will be wearing pink leotards and are encouraging the crowd to join them in a 'Pink Out'. Fans who wear pink to the meet will receive $2 admission.
There will be 'Pink' items available for the public to buy as well as pink t-shirts the gymnasts will be selling. The Susan G. Komen and Three Day Walk foundations will also have items for purchase and will also be showing a video during the meet on their foundations.
April Boone-- Boone was named captain this season and has been the most consistent all-arounder for the Devils this season. She earned a perfect 10.0 on beam against Washington as well as a career-high 9.950 on floor in the UNO's Classic. Boone also scored a team-high 39.475 in the all-around against Washington. She has gone to the NCAA Championships all three of her years at Arizona State, twice with the team and once individually. Boone also scored a perfect 10.0 last season on vault and has proven to be one of the team's most powerful tumblers. Along with her athletic achievements, Boone has also been named to the Pac-10 All-Academic team twice.
Cassandra Jusino-- Jusino has been an all-arounder for the Sun Devils since her freshman year. A dynamic vaulter and tumbler, the senior from Gresham, Ore., has been one of the Sun Devils highest scorers over the past four years. This season, Jusino has posted a career-high 9.950 on beam as well as a 39.400 on beam. She also holds career-high 9.950 on bars and floor. Jusino also scored a perfect 10.0 on vault her freshman season.
Lisa Lanza-- Lanza has mostly competed on bars this season. She has twice achieved a new career high in the event, first scoring a 9.775 and then surpassing that with a 9.800. Lanza has also competed on beam and floor in her time at ASU, earning career-high scores of 9.675 on beam and 9.825 on floor.
Lauren Powell-- After receiving a fifth year of eligibility, Powell began the season as one of the most consistent all-arounders for the Devils. Prior to her season-ending knee injury, the senior from Feeding Hills, Mass., had scored a season-high 9.850 on bars and beam as well as a 9.875 on vault and a 9.825 on floor. In her career, Powell has twice earned career-high a 9.900 on vault and one 9.900 on beam. She has also recorded a 9.925 on bars as well as twice receiving the same score on floor.
ASU In The Rankings --
The Arizona State women's gymnastics team was ranked 11th in the Preseason Coaches' Poll released by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches. The Sun Devils are currently ranked 23rd. The Devils are also 20th on beam.
ASU Faces Nation's Finest --
The Sun Devils will face seven of the top-ranked programs in the country, four of which are in the Pacific-10 Conference, according to the preseason coaches poll. The Sun Devils began their season at No. 8 Stanford on Jan. 19, hosted No. 5 UCLA on Jan. 26, competed at No. 12 Oregon State on Feb. 2, hosted No. 10 Oklahoma in the annual UNO's Classic on Feb. 9, and traveled to No. 16 Arizona on Feb. 23. This week the Devils face the No. 12 Arkansas Gym'Backs (No. 15 in preseason poll). On March 23rd, the Sun Devils will travel to Utah, which was ranked second in the preseason poll.
Scouting Arkansas --
The Sun Devils have never faced the Gym'Backs in a duel meet; however, at last year's NCAA Championships, the two teams met. The Devils finished ninth while Arkansas finished 12th nationally. The Gym'Backs are currently ranked 12th and are ranked 12th on floor, 11th on beam, 14th on bars and 15th on vault. Arkansas has one gymnast ranked. Casey Jo Magee is ranked 19th on beam.
ASU to Host Pacific-10 Conference Championships --
Tickets for the 2007 Pacific-10 Gymnastics Championships held on March 31 at 5:00 p.m. PT at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz., are now on sale. Five of the seven teams in the Pac-10 were ranked in the preseason poll, including the Sun Devils.
Tickets are $20 for reserved tickets. General admission tickets for adults are $12. Students, persons age 18 and under and seniors can purchase tickets for $7. Groups of 25- plus can buy tickets for $5 each. To purchase tickets, call the Sun Devil Ticket Office at (480) 727-0000. Ticket order forms are also available online at www.thesundevils.com.
Returning All-American -
Sophomore Nicole Harris comes back to the Sun Devil squad as the lone returning All-American. Last season Harris capped her stellar season by gathering second team All-American status on beam after scoring a 9.875 at the NCAA Championships in Corvallis, Ore. Harris shined at Oregon State when she won the all-around competition with a score of 39.400. Along with winning the all-around, Harris also vaulted her way to tie for first on the vault with a career-best 9.900. The sophomore also scored season-high scores on bars (9.850) and beam (9.875) to take first in both events. At UNO's Classic, Harris recorded her career-high on beam, a 9.950. Harris continued to shine at Arizona, where she won her second all-around competition of the season with a 39.125. The sophomore also won bars, tying her season-high 9.850. She finished second on beam with a 9.850. At Washington, Harris tied her season-high on bars again as well as set a new floor personal record with a 9.900.
Two weeks ago against Washington, senior captain April Boone scored her first 10.0 on beam. Her perfect scored marked the only 10.0 on beam in the country thus far this season. This is her second career 10 as Boone scored a 10.0 on vault last season.
The Devils posted the highest team beam score in the nation with a 49.575 last week against Washington. Five of the six women competing posted career-highs including April Boone's 10.0. Senior Cassandra Jusino scored her career-high on the event with a 9.950. Sophomores Ashlee Hinkle and Ashley Toner also tallied career-highs of 9.900. Another career-high was recorded on beam by Tiana Jean who posted 9.825.
Fantastic Fans --
The Sun Devils have had two of their largest crowdssince 2001 this season. Two weeks ago, 2,008 fans came out to watch the Sun Devils topple the Washington Huskies. Earlier this season, a crowd of 1,834 watched ASU take on UCLA.
Injury Update --
The Sun Devils have been plagued with injuries this season. Sophomore Tia Orlando will not compete this season due to rehabilitating a torn ACL. Junior Josie Hancock is retiring from gymnastics due to chronic injuries.
The Sun Devils suffered a devastating loss when senior all-arounder Lauren Powell tore her anterior cruciate ligament while practicing beam. The senior has been one of the most consistent on the all-around this season and has also posted one of the season-high scores on bars this year as well.'We are very devastated as a team for Lauren,' head coach John Spini said, 'The other girls are going to need to step up.'