Nicole Harris and Ashlee Hinkle Sign Letters Of Intent With ASU Gymnastics

Dec. 7, 2004

Arizona State University has signed two high school gymnasts to National Letters of Intent to study and compete at ASU, 25th-year head coach John Spini announced Tuesday.

The talented duo is comprised of Nicole Harris of Allentown, Pennsylvania and Ashlee Hinkle of Glendale, Arizona.

'Nicole is one of the top recruits in the country,' says Spini. 'She had many options and we are extremely excited that Nicole has chosen Arizona State. Nicole will help us on all four events and will bring a lot of experience with her. She is the kind of athlete that could take us to a another level of competition.

'Ashlee is a very talented local gymnast that we feel fortunate to get. She is a great gymnast and also brings a large amount of enthusiasm toward Arizona State. We think Ashlee will do very well here and we are looking forward to her being part of the team.'

Harris is a national Elite gymnast (2001) and International Elite gymnast (2002) who chose ASU over UCLA, Stanford and Georgia. Harris finished second on bars and beam at the 2004 Stella Zakharova Cup in Kiev, Ukraine. She also finished third in the all-around, on floor and on bars at the 2004 American Classic. At the 2004 Podium Meet in New York City, Harris placed first in the all-around, on beam and on floor.

In 2003 Harris placed second in the all-around, first on bars and third on beam at the US Classic in San Antonio. She also finished sixth in the all-around, first on beam and third on bars at the Pacific Challenge in Anaheim. At the National Podium Meet Harris was sixth in the all-around and first on beam. She finished fifth in the all-around and second on bars as a Senior Elite gymnast at the American Classic in Boston.

Harris has competed in several international meets, including the Marsillia Cup in France (first-place in all-around, bars, beam and vault) and in the Senior Elite in DeHypotheekshop, Netherlands (10th in all-around and third on bars).

Harris competed for the Parkettes and was coached by Bill and Donna Strauss, Robin Netwall and John Holman. She attends Long Beach (Keystone National) High School.

Hinkle is a member of the Phoenix Gymnastics Academy and was coached by Mike and Donna Payne and her father, Jerry Hinkle. She was the 2004 Arizona USAG State champion on the floor exercise and the balance beam. Hinkle is a three-time Arizona USAG level 10 State All-Around Champion and she qualified to the USAG Level 10 Junior Olympic national Championships in 2002 and 2004. In 2002, Hinkle was the USAG Level 10 Junior Olympic national Champion on floor and was a member of the 2002 Region 1 National Championship Team which finished first.

Hinkle, a senior at Mountain Ridge High School, sports a 4.21 grade-point average and is a member of the Junior National Honor Society and the Society of Female Scholars. Her parents, Jerry and Ellen Hinkle, are both gymnastics coaches.

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