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Gym Devils go to Oregon State, look for first win

February 05, 2009

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This Week
The No. 24 Arizona State women's gymnastics team travels to No. 10 Oregon State for their third straight Pac-10 meet. 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.

ASU In The Rankings
The Sun Devils dropped to 23rd this week. They are ranked 13th nationally on beam and are 21st on vault. Nicole Harris is the only individual ranked. She is currently eighth on beam and 24th on bars.

Scouting the Competition
Oregon State is currently 10th overall. They are 13th on floor, ninth on beam, 10th on bars and 13th on vault. Individually, Mandi Rodriguez is sixth on floor and 14th on beam. The Beavers have two athletes ranked on bars with Jen Kesler at 10th and Leslie Mak at 14th.

Welcome Freshmen
The 2009 roster boasts seven freshmen. ASU welcomes Nicole Ferrandino (East Norwich, N.Y.), Ellen Gebhardt (Carol Stream, Ill.), Amber Hammerschmidt (Rosemount, Minn.), Stephanie Hangartner (Chandler, Ariz.), Kahoku Palafox (Kailua, Hawaii), Callie Price (Mesa, Ariz.) and Kelly Reilly (Phoenix, Ariz.). Hammerschmidt, Hangarnter, Palafox, Price and Reilly have all competed so far this season. Hammerschmidt hit her beam routine last week and scored a 9.775. Hangartner has garnerd a season-high score of 9.775 on floor while Palafox earned a 9.725.

Harris Hits
Nicole Harris has been rock solid on beam and bars this season. The senior is currently ranked eighth nationally on beam. Last week, the New Yorker posted a season-high 9.9 on beam. On bars, Harris is 24th and scored a season-high and team-best 9.875 on bars last week. Harris has also been consistent on vault, averaging just over a 9.8.

Jonesin' Around
Beate Jones has tied her career-best score of 9.9 on vault twice this season. The Jersey girl nailed her vault last week to earn her high score. Jones has also shined on floor this season and posted a career-best and team-high 9.85 last week.

Aye Aye Captain
Jean will lead the Sun Devils as captain this season. The senior was honored by the Pac-10 last season for her consistent performance in the all-around. Jean, who earned a career-best of 39.225 in the all-around last season, either raised or tied her career-high in every event last season. Jean tallied career-highs of 9.750 on vault, 9.875 on bars, 9.9 on beam and 9.875 on floor. The Washington native tied her career-best of 9.9 on beam against Missouri.

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. She was out due last week due to an ankle injury during warmups but is expected to be back in the lineup this week.

Beaming Bormann
One of the Sun Devils most consistent beam-workers, Kaitlynn Bormann, showcased her skills at last Friday's meet. The New Yorker hit every series and stuck her dismount to earn a career-best 9.850 on the apparatus. Bormann followed that performance up with a 9.775 on beam at Stanford. Bormann has also been named co-captain for the team.