Laura Moon To Compete As An Individual All-Arounder At NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships

April 16, 2002

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TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State senior Laura Moon will compete as an individual all-arounder at the 2002 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships Thursday, April 18, at the University of Alabama's Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Moon, ASU's lone qualifier for this year's nationals and the school record holder in the all-around, will make her competitive rotations with the University of Nebraska in the first session of the preliminary team competition, held Thursday at 1 p.m. CT. Should she finish among the top four places on any apparatus, Moon would qualify for the event finals held Saturday, April 20, at 7 p.m. CT.

The Scottsdale, Ariz., native will look for a repeat of her All-American performance in the all-around at last year's NCAA Championships, when she earned second-team honors. Moon is making her fourth straight trip to the NCAA Championships and third as an individual qualifier. As a freshman and sophomore at the University of Maryland she also qualified individually, while her junior campaign with the Sun Devils was the only time she qualified with a team.

Moon advanced to compete at NCAAs with a fifth-place finish in the all-around and a score of 38.900 at the South Central Regional hosted by ASU April 6, the first time she competed on all four events this season. As a team, ASU came up 0.075 points short of an NCAA Championships berth, finishing third behind UCLA and Arizona at the regional and failing to qualify for nationals for only the fifth time in school history.

Having battled back from preseason knee surgery, plus other injuries sustained separately from a fall in practice, Moon has hit 11 of her 14 routines this season for 9.8 or better. She made her season debut on bars at the UNO's Classic (Feb. 8) scoring a 9.825, and has competed on bars in all seven meets since with a high score of 9.85 (Feb. 15 vs. Washington) and a season average of 9.821. Moon made her 2002 beam debut with a 9.8 at the Masters Classic (Feb. 23) and has hit three of four routines since including a career best 9.95 vs. Arizona. She made her vault and floor debuts at the regional, with scores of 9.625 and 9.80, respectively.

Last year, her first as a Sun Devil after two team-MVP stints with the University of Maryland, Moon wasted no time working her way into the ASU record books. Against Auburn, in one of her 11 appearances in the all-around, Moon earned a school record total of 39.600. Helping her to that sum was Moon's second perfect 10.0 score on the uneven bars, causing her to join Danna Lister as the only Sun Devils ever to record a pair of perfect marks in the same season (Lister earned two 10.0s on beam in 1994). Moon also had season highs of 9.825 on vault, 9.925 on beam and 9.925 on floor. Out of a combined 49 routines, Moon scored 9.9 or better 11 times. At the NCAA Championships, Moon earned second-team All-America honors with her 17th-place finish in the all-around, scoring 39.100.

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