Gym Devils To Host Washington This Friday

Feb. 24, 2009

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After earning their season-high score of 195.250, the Arizona State women's gymnastics team (1-5, 1-4) look to earn their second win of the season. Competing alongside the men's club team, the Gym Devils will host No. 24 Washington in their sixth consecutive Pac-10 match-up. Head Coach John 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.

Men's Club Meet ---
The Gym Devils will welcome the ASU men's club team, who will be competing against Air Force and Washington's men's team alongside the women. This is the second time the men and women have competed together since the men's varsity program was cut in 1990. The last time the two teams competed together was in March 2007, when the Gym Devils bested Washington 196.525-194.45.

Other Promotions ---
The Sun Devils will welcome dance teams from across the Valley as part of the 'Sun Devil Ball'. There will also be an autograph session for both the men and women's teams.

ASU in the Rankings ---
Although the Sun Devils are out of the top 25 this week, they are currently 23rd on beam. Nicole Harris is the lone Sun Devils ranked as she is 17th on beam. Harris is just out of the top 25 in the all-around at 27th.

Scouting the Huskies ---
No. 24 Washington recently earned a season-best 196 in their upset win over Oregon State and Illinois. The Huskies are ranked 18th on vault and 25th on beam. Ashley Houghting is the lone Husky ranked as she is third in the country on vault.

All-Around Nicole ---
When Nicole Harris rejoined the team in the fall, she stated that she wanted to put up a solid score in every event for her team. She has done just that. The senior has hit nearly every event, only missing a floor routine in which she tweaked her shoulder in the middle of the routine. Harris currently has the team's highest all-around score and is tied for the highest beam and bars mark.

Jersey Girl ---
Truly developing into a leader, Beate Jones has been one of the team's most consistent gymnasts this season. Jones leads the team with the highest score on vault (9.9) and floor (9.9). She has gathered more scores of 9.9 than anyone else on the team this season. Jones has also improved drastically on bars and beam this season with averages of 9.704 on bars and 9.733 on beam.

Tiana Time--
Tiana Jean has been proven to be one of the team's best floor and beam-workers this season. With career-high scores of 9.9 in both events, anytime Jean hops on the beam or takes the floor one can expect a solid score.

Fantastic Fran ---
Francesca Mercurio enters her sophomore season after a fabulous freshman one. Mercurio became the tenth Sun Devil to be named Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week. Mercurio earned the honor by earning her first all-around win against Ohio State. Mercurio finished her freshman campaign with career-high marks of 39.250 in the all-around, 9.875 on vault, 9.825 on bars and beam, and 9.750 on floor. Mercurio competed in the all-around for the first time against Stanford. Mercurio competed in the all-around for the first time in two weeks against Cal.

Dancing Devils ---
Against Arizona, the Sun Devils put forth one of their best floor lineups of the season. With Harris and Jones leading the way with scores of 9.825, the Sun Devils hit for a season-best 49.025. Freshman Stephanie Hangartner showed what she was made of with a career-best 9.8 while Brittany Schuett got back to last year's form with a 9.775.

Hammer Time ---
Freshman Amber Hammerschmidt showed impressive discipline last week. Having only hit one beam routine prior to that night, the freshman performed a beautiful routine under pressure of hitting after Francesca Mercurio fell. Hammerschmidt was awarded a career-best 9.8 for her set.

So Fresh and So Clean ---
Three freshmen were in the vault lineup for the Sun Devils last week. Callie Price and Kelly Reilly have been standard names in the lineup this season. Both Price and Reilly scored career-highs at Arizona with Price nailing a 9.775 and Reilly landing on her feet for a 9.725. Freshman Hangartner also made her vaulting debut with a 9.725.

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