Gym Devils head to Oklahoma for South Central Regional
The No. 19 Gym Devils head to Oklahoma for their 27th consecutive NCAA regional on April 12 at 6:00 p.m. The Sun Devils enter the South Central Regional as a four seed. 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.
The Sun Devils will start on beam. ASU will have a bye in the second rotation and move to floor in the third rotation. The Sun Devils will compete on vault in the fourth rotation. They will have a bye before moving to their last rotation on bars. Megan Koshman of Illinois State will be competing in the same rotation as the Sun Devils.
ASU In The Rankings
ASU remained at 19th nationally. The Sun Devils are ranked 14th on beam and 25th on vault. ASU is just out of the top 25 on floor (26th) and bars (28th).
Scouting the Competition
Alabama leads the South Central competition being ranked 4th nationally (196.870). Host Oklahoma is 10th (196.450) while Boise State is 16th (195.690). Illinois is 24th with an RQS of 195.125 and Southeastern Missouri State is 36th (194.065).
Ashlee Hinkle and Tiana Jean were both honored with Pac-10 First-Team honors. Hinkle earned First-Team accolades on beam while Jean was named a First Team All-Arounder. Both juniors have been the team's rocks this season. Hinkle has hit 36-36 routines this season. Jean has proven herself to be the team's most consistent all-arounder.
Four Sun Devils were named to the Pac-10 All-Academic team. Ashlee Hinkle headlined the group, earning Second-Team accolades. Hinkle, a junior elementary education major, holds a 3.57 grade point average. Sophomore Kaitlynn Bormann and juniors Carrie Finley and Tia Orlando
were named to the honorable mention team.
The Sun Devils have had several Pac-10 weekly honors this season. Ashlee Hinkle was named Pac-10 Event Specialist of the Week for the week of February 4th. The Sun Devils swept the weekly awards for the week of March 11, with Francesca Mercurio earning Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week and Tia Orlando named Pac-10 Event Specialist of the Week.
Ashlee Hinkle has had a phenomenal junior campaign. Her consistency has been honored as the junior earned Pac-10 First-Team beam accolades. The Glendale, Ariz., native has been one of the team's top scorers in her three events. Hinkle has yet to record a fall this season, going 36-36 in competition. Hinkle scored a team-high and career-high 9.95 on vault. This score is the highest score by a Sun Devil on any apparatus this season. The junior also had a career-best 9.875 on floor against Oregon State and again at Missouri. Hinkle also tied her best beam score of 9.9.
In Tiana We Trust
Junior Tiana Jean has been rock solid as an all-arounder this season. Jean was rewarded by the Pac-10 for her accomplishments and named a Pac-10 First-Team all-arounder. The junior earned her first all-around victory at Washington, scoring a 38.825. The Puyallup, Wash., native earned her best all-around score of 39.225 against Ohio State. Jean had career-highs on vault (9.750) and floor (9.875) against Oregon State. Against Arizona, Jean tied her career-best bars with a 9.875. In the tri-meet against Boise State and Penn State, the junior had a career-high 9.9 on beam. This is Jean's first 9.9 score in any apparatus of her career. She tied that score the next week against Ohio State to win the event.
Francesca Mercurio has had an extremely successful freshman campaign. The San Mateo, Calif., was honored for her accomplishments by the Pac-10. Mercurio became the tenth Sun Devil to be named Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week. Mercurio earned the honor by winning her first all-around competition last week against Ohio State. Mercurio surpassed 39 for the first time and scored a career-best 39.250 in the event. She also had career-high marks on vault (9.875), beam (9.825) and floor (9.750).
Orlando Out for Season
Tia Orlando, who had come back strong after suffering a torn ACL last season, suffered a torn Achilles while warming up her last pass on floor at the Pac-10 Championships. Prior to her injury, Orlando had been one of the team's top scorers on bars and beam and had recently entered the floor lineup. Orlando was named Pac-10 Event Specialist of the Week for the week of March 11th. She was the second Devil to receive the award. The Philly native had earned career-highs of 9.875 on bars, 9.925 on beam and 9.875 on floor this season.
Keeping Up with the Jones
Beaté Jones has proven to be a powerful force on vault and floor for the Sun Devils this season, as well as a solid all-arounder. Against Ohio State, Jones stuck a beautiful landing on vault to earn her first career 9.9. The powerful freshman also tied her career-high on floor for the third time, earning a 9.825. Jones also had career-best on beam (9.750) and in the all-around (39.075). Jones recorded the team's second highest vault, bars and floor scores at the Pac-10 Championships.