Women's Gymnastics to Host Arizona in Annual Duel in the Desert on Sunday

Jan. 20, 2010

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The Arizona State women's gymnastics team opens their home slate by hosting Arizona in the State Farm Territorial Cup Series this Sunday, January 24, at 2 p.m. in Wells Fargo Arena. The Gym Devils are 1-3 coming off a two-event weekend. Gymnastics alumni are invited back for the meet as well.

30 Years of Spini ---
Arizona State University's longest currently tenured coach, John Spini, has entered his 30th year of coaching. In his 30 years at ASU, Spini has sent his Sun Devil teams to 20 NCAA Championships and has had at least one Sun Devil represent ASU at the NCAA Championships 24 out of 28 seasons. He has coached 26 All-Americans for a total of 80 All-American accolades. Six women have won individual NCAA titles under Spini. Additionally, nine of Spini's Sun Devil squads have finished in the top five at the NCAA Championships, including four teams (1983, 1985, 1986, 1997) who were runner-up. The Sun Devils have qualified for an NCAA regional each of the seasons Spini has been the ASU gymnastics skipper.

State Farm Territorial Cup Series ---
The ASU and Arizona gymnastics teams are participating in the State Farm Territorial Cup Series. The winner of the dual meet on Sunday and the highest finisher at the Pac-10 Championships will be awarded a point. If there is a split in the series, each team will get half a point. Each academic year points will be awarded to the winning team or school at the conclusion of 18 rivalry sports competitions or series. The university with the most points at the end of the academic year will earn the new State Farm Territorial Cup Series Trophy in addition to bragging rights in the state. The new series trophy is being hand crafted by Reed & Barton, a silversmith located in Massachusetts that created the original Territorial Cup Trophy back in 1899. This new trophy will be unveiled in the spring and will be ready for the 2009-2010 State Farm Territorial Cup Series champion to take home. More importantly, State Farm will donate $20,000 to each university's education scholarship fund to help deserving students.

Follow Online ---
Results from the meet can be found on ASU Gymnastics Twitter page and a PDF of the scoresheet after each rotation will be posted on www.thesundevils.com.

Scouting the Competition ---
Arizona is ranked 24th overall, 19th on vault, 23rd on bars and 25th on floor. Individually, Sarah Tomczyk is listed at 25th on vault while Britnie Jones is 15th on beam.

Miss Mary ---
Look out for Mary Atkinson this season. The junior has already proven to be the team's MVP as she has team-high scores on three events. At the Lady Luck Invite, Atkinson nailed her vault to tie her career-best of 9.875. She moved on to bars to perform another near perfect routine to exchange her previous career-high of 9.825 with a 9.875. Against Cal, the Virginia native scored another 9.875 on floor to win the event. In addition to floor, she won vault (9.825) and bars (9.775). She is currently ranked 25th on bars and 25th on vault.

New Kids on the Block ---
The Gym Devils 2010 roster is full of new additions to the team. Three freshmen look to make an immediate impact as will at least one transfer. Nickie Johnson and Christina Salavec are both training in the all around. Amelia Rew, who just came to the team this month, is looking to be in the vault and potentially beam lineups. Freshman walk-on Jordyn McIntyre is working hard for a spot on the bars lineup. Another newcomer who will contribute significantly this season for the Gym Devils is sophomore transfer Amanda Davies who has been steady in the team's intrasquads this preseason. Carly McMahon could also make appearances in the beam lineups.

Jones Out---
Beate Jones, who was the Sun Devils' top all-arounder last season, is out indefinitely with a Lisfranc injury that occurred during preseason. Jones achieved career-highs last season on V (9.925), UB (9.825), BB (9.9), FX (9.9) and in the all-around (39.4).

Shining Senior --
After two years of being one of the team's top beam and bar-workers, Kaitlynn Bormann could be in the vault lineup this season. Despite not competing it since her freshman season, Bormann topped her previous career-high on vault by nailing it for a 9.8. She also earned a team-high 9.825 on beam.

Super Frosh--
Three of the Gym Devils freshmen were given spots in the lineup over the weekend. Nickie Johnson competed on three events (Vault, Bars, Floor) at both meets while Christina Salavec performed on floor and beam. Amelia Rew also competed on vault. On floor Johnson earned a solid 9.825, the team's second highest score of the season, at Cal while Salavec has the team's second-highest beam score with a 9.775.

Clever Devils ---
Brittany Schuett had the highest grade point average in the conference last season with a 4.04 in speech and hearing. For her achievements in the classroom, she was named to the Pac-10 All-Academic First-Team. Mary Atkinson earned Second-Team recognition from the conference. Both Atkinson and freshman Amelia Rew are both members of the prestigious Barrett Honors College here at ASU and are bioscience majors.

Re-Introducing Kari Ward ---
Former ASU gymnast Kari Ward has joined the Sun Devils' staff as an assistant coach this season. Ward was a standout gymnast for the Sun Devils during 2002-2005. She was a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic First-Team selection. Her main responsibilities will floor and beam, two events she excelled in as a gymnast.

Socialize with the Devils! ---
Be sure to follow the Arizona State Gymnastics team on Facebook and Twitter! Links to both are on www.thesundevils.com. Inside information, trivia questions and videos are featured on the fan sites.

Next Up ---
The Gym Devils will head to Westwood to compete against Pac-10 powerhouse UCLA next Sunday at 2 p.m. PT.

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