No. 11 ASU Gymnasts Prepare For Regionals

March 27, 2006

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This Week --
The No. 11 ranked Arizona State University gymnastics team prepares for the 2006 NCAA North Central Regional Championships to be held Saturday, April 8 at 6:00 p.m. CT at Iowa State University. The Sun Devils, under 26th-year head coach John Spini, are in a new era of Sun Devil gymnastics with the $2 million John Spini Gymnastics Training Facility on the ASU campus. It is the first time in five years that the squad has trained on campus. Spini has led the Sun Devils to an NCAA regional berth for the ninth time in the last 11 seasons. Spini is currently ASU's longest-tenured head coach, and is tied for second on the all-time Sun Devil head coaching list with long-time track and field mentor Senon 'Baldy' Castillo. Former Sun Devil women's tennis coaching legend Anne Pittman holds the distinction as the longesttenured ASU head coach in school history at 31 seasons. With a fourth-place finish at the 2006 Pacific-10 Conference Championships last Saturday, his regular-season record is now 320-129-2 over 25-plus seasons. His won-loss mark at home is 168-27-1.

Sun Devils To North Central Regional In Ames, Iowa --
Arizona State will make its ninth NCAA Regional appearance in the past 11 years April 8 in the North Central Region at Iowa State University. The meet, which features No. 1 seed Iowa State, No. 2 seed ASU, No. 3 seed Arizona, No. 4 seed Denver, No. 5 seed Minnesota and No. 6 seed Brigham Young, begins at 6 p.m. CT. ASU has defeated Arizona and Iowa State this year, but lost to Denver. The top two teams at the regional meet advance to the NCAA Championships, April 20-22 in Corvallis, Oregon.

Spini Named 2006 Pac-10 Conference Co-Coach Of The Year --
26th-year Sun Devil head coach John Spini was named the 2006 Pacific-10 Conference Co-Coach of the Year by his peers Saturday at the conference champiosnhips in Corvallis, Oregon. Spini led his squad to a ninth-place national ranking in 2006 and a fourth-place finish at the conference championships. Stanford's Kristen Smyth, a former Spini assistant coach, was the co-winner along with Spini.

ASU In The Rankings --
ASU debuted at No. 14 in the GymInfo rankings, based on the preseason coaches poll released in December. ASU fell two spots to No. 11 in this week's rankings, which are based upon regional qualifying score (RQS). ASU has climbed five spots within the past two rankings periods. Pac-10 Conference foe UCLA was selected third in the preseason poll with 579 votesand three first-place bids. ASU received 293 votes and was neighbored in the standings by No. 9 Stanford (417), No. 13 Oregon State (331), No. 17 Arizona (188) and No. 18 Washington (185). For info access

ASU Faced Nation's Finest --
Arizona State faced eight of the nation's Top 25 teams in 2006, according to the preseason coaches poll. Of the squads the Sun Devils met in `06, Utah was No. 2, UCLA No. 3, Stanford No. 9, Iowa State No. 11, Oregon State No. 13, Arizona No. 17, Washington No. 18 and Denver No. 21 in the preseason coaches poll. Five of those meetings were at home in Wells FargoArena.

ASU In The Rankings/Individual & Team Events --
Senior Ashley Kelly is ranked 2nd nationally in the all-around (39.555) while junior April Boone is 17th (39.36). Kelly has the nation's best all-around score this year (39.875). Kelly also ranks 1st (9.925) on the balance beam, including the only 10.0 in the nation this year, tied for6th on the uneven parallel bars (9.9) and tied for 12th on vault (9.895). Boone is tied for 13th on the floor exercise (9.895) and tied for 24th on vault (9.88). Harris is 20th (9.865) on beam. ASU is ranked 9th (196.12) nationally as a team. The Sun Devils are ranked 15th on floor exercise (49.045), 7th on balance beam (49.06), 12th on the uneven parallel bars (49.01) and are 8th on vault (49.205). ASU owns the best team score (197.75) in the nation this year.

2006 Results --
3/25/06: at Pac-10 Championships--ASU finished fourth at the 2006 Pacific-10 Conference Championships in Corvallis, Oregon. ASU's 193.900 was its lowest score since January. The Sun Devils posted their lowest vault score of the year (48.275). Senior Ashley Kelly tied for second on thebalance beam (9.95) and placed fourth in the all-around (39.475).
3/18/06: at Denver--ASU compiled its second-best road score of the year, 196.125 in a loss to No. 19 Denver (196.475). Ashley Kelly's 39.375 in the all-around won her the 21st title in her career. Nicole Harris was second (39.225). Cassandra Jusino won the vault competition with a 9.9 forASU's only individual event win.
3/10/06: vs. Iowa State--Senior Ashley Kelly saved her best for last, recording her school-record 20th career all-around title with a nation's best score of 39.875 in the final home meet of her career. Kelly posted a perfect 10.0 on the balance beam, her first of the year and the first in the nation this year. She won bars (9.95), beam (10.0) and floor (9.95) and finished tied for second on vault (9.975). Her all-around score of 39.875 tied her career best, set three times. Junior April Boone won vault with a perfect 10.0, the second in the nation this season. ASU's team score of 197.75 was its best of the campaign and the best in the nation this year (7th-best in school history). Freshman Nicole Harris posted her best all-around score (39.575). Boone posted her career-best all-around (39.525) as well. ASU achieved season-bests on vault (49.625), beam (49.4) and floor (49.425).
3/3/06: at California--ASU scored its second-best team total of the season, a 196.25 at California. The Sun Devils compiled a season-high 49.15 on floor and their vault (49.225) and beam (49.025) scores were the second and third-best scores, respectively, of the year. Ashley Kelly won the 19thall-around title of her career with a 39.65. She won three events -- vault (9.95), bars (9.9) and beam (9.925) and was second on floor (9.875). April Boone won floor (9.9). ASU swept the all-around competition for the second straight meet. Ashlee Hinkle had her best meet, posting career-highs on vault (9.775) and floor (9.825).
2/24/06: UNO's Classic Field--ASU scored a 196.95, its best score of the campaign, to win the annual UNO's Classic vs. Oregon State (195.55), Boise State (192.275) and Wisconsin-Oshkosh (181.25). The score was tied for the third-highest in the nation this year. The crowd of 1,321 was the eighth-largest in Sun Devil history. ASU swept the all-around as Ashley Kelly took first (39.6), April Boone second (39.5), Nicole Harris was third (39.425) and Cassandra Jusino fourth (39.275). Boone won vault (9.9). ASU posted its best score of the year on bars (49.5) and the best score in the nation. Kelly won (9.975). ASU scored a season-best (49.175) on beam with Harris (9.925) winning. Jusino won floor (9.925).
2/19/06: at UCLA--ASU placed second (194.575) in this quad meet with UCLA (196.675), Cal State-Fullerton (189.8) and UC-Davis (187.925). Junior April Boone won vault with a score of 9.9 while Ashley Kelly was 4th (9.85). Kelly was 4th on bars (9.85) and tied for 1st on beam (9.85) withUCLA's Jordan Schwikert. Boone was 3rd on floor (9.85). Kelly was 3rd (39.35) in the all-around while Boone was 4th (39.325).
2/10/06: vs. Stanford--ASU scored a 195.725, which was above its season average of 194.931, but fell to No. 12 Stanford (196.325). ASU had to count a fall on floor and beam, but still managed its second-best team score of the season. Ashley Kelly won the 17th all-around title of her career, posting a 39.675, her season best and the best score in the nation this year. Kelly won on vault (9.975) and beam (9.925) and was second on bars (9.875) and third on floor (9.9). Junior Cassandra Jusino placed second in the all-around with a 39.475, her first all-around competition of the campaign. She tied for first on floor (9.925) with teammate April Boone and was second on vault (9.95) and on beam (9.875). Boone won the floor exercise (9.925).
2/3/06: vs. Utah--ASU scored a season-high 196.1, but it fell just shy of upsetting No.2 Utah at Wells Fargo Arena. Utah posted a 196.175. ASU did not score a 196 or above until March 18 last year. April Boone and Nicole Harris tied for all-around honors at 39.35. Ashley Kelly won the uneven parallel bars (9.95) while Boone won on floor (9.925). Kelly also tied for third (9.875) on vault. The crowd of 1,521 was the third-largest to witness a home gymnastics meet at ASU.
1/27/06: at Washington/Seattle Pacific--ASU (195.175) remained unbeaten in defeating Washington (191.525) and Seattle Pacific (190.225). Junior April Boone won the all-around title (39.2). Junior Cassandra Jusino had her best meet of the season, tying for first (9.9) on vault and winning floor (9.9). Ashley Kelly and Nicole Harris tied for first on beam (9.875). Tia Orlando (9.725) tied with Kelly for second on bars. Kelly placed second (39.075) in the all-around competition.
1/22/06: vs. Arizona--ASU defeated Arizona, 195.3-195.15 in the home opener at WFA. Ashley Kelly won the 16th all-around title of her illustrious career, winning two events and placing no lower than third. She scored a 39.475. She won on bars (9.9, tied) and on beam (9.925). Kelly placed 2nd (9.875) on vault and tied for third on floor (9.775). Frosh Tia Orlando won vault with a 9.9, her career-high and tied for 3rd on beam (9.75). Freshman Nicole Harris tied for 3rd on bars (9.875) and on beam (9.75).
1/13/06: at Boise State--Freshman Nicole Harris won three events and the all-around as ASU defeated Boise State, 193.15-189.95 at Boise. Harris posted a 39.05 in the all-around which represented her first title in her first collegiate meet. Harris took honors on the uneven parallel bars (9.775), on balance beam (9.875) and on the floor exercise (9.75). Junior April Boone and senior Ashley Kelly tied for second in the allaround (38.6). Senior Lauren Powell was 4th (9.8) on vault and 2nd on bars (9.725). Kelly was 3rd on beam (9.825) and on floor (9.7). Freshman Tiana Jean finished 5th on floor (9.5). ASU trailed after three events, but won the meet with a score of 48.8 on beam.

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