Women's Gymnastics Performs Last Intrasquad of Preseason

Jan. 9, 2009

The Arizona State women's gymnastics team showcased their 2009 routines in their final intrasquad of the preseason. In front of a group of their biggest fans, including several Sun Devil student-athletes, the team gave a sneak peak of what to expect in the 2009 season.

'It was a great warm-up for our first meet,' said 29th year head coach John Spini. 'We just had some nerves; I wanted to get the shakiness out.'

The two seniors, Nicole Harris and Tiana Jean both competed in the all-around for the team.

'I thought Nicole Harris and Tiana Jean are looking pretty good and very confident. We need their leadership, I think that's the key to keep us focused and calm,' said Spini on his two seniors.

Several freshmen competed including Amber Hammerschmidt (BB), Stephanie Hangartner (FX), Callie Price (V), Kahoku Palafox (UB) and Kelly Reilly (V). Price additionally performed an exhibition on floor while Palafox and Reilly competed in an exhibition simultaneously on beam.

'I was very pleased with Amber Hammerschmidt and Callie Price, two of our freshmen,' said Spini.

Mary Atkinson competed in three events, vault, beam and floor, while Beaté Jones was in the lineup as an all-arounder. Francesca Mercurio performed on bars and Brittany Schuett was in both the vault and floor lineup. Junior Kaitlynn Bormann competed on both bars and beam.

'The thing we want to really make sure is that we want to build up that confidence in Mary and Beaté and keep them moving,' said Spini. 'We are really going to use them this year.'

While the intrasquad was a success, Spini did say there are several things the team will need to work on this week in the gym.

'The thing I was disappointed in is that we didn't make some corrections when it came to execution and body positions,' said Spini. 'We're strong with three kids back but those early kids are not polished. That's why it's important to do the repetitions so that they will be come confident that they will be on their feet and can make the corrections. I am very pleased with their work ethic and how hard they have been working. '

The team will open their season at home against Missouri next Friday, January 16. The meet will start at 7:30 p.m. in Wells Fargo Arena.

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