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Gym Devils return home to face Stanford

February 16, 2010

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The No. 24 Arizona State women's gymnastics team returns to Wells Fargo Arena on Friday to host No. 8 Stanford at 7:30 p.m. MT. The Sun Devils are coming off a win over then No. 24 Washington and have had two straight scores of over 195. ASU is 2-6 (2-2 Pac-10) while Stanford is 7-2.

Gym Devils in the rankings
The Sun Devils moved up to 24th this week. They now have a season scoring average of 194.204 and received their first RQS score that is 193.905. The Sun Devils are additionally ranked 18th on bars and 23rd on floor. Individually, Mary Atkinson is 13th on bars while Madison Snowden is ranked 24th on floor.

Promotions and more
The first 500 fans will receive this year's Wells Fargo Poster, featuring Francesca Mercurio. ASU Faculty and Staff can attend the meet for $3. Live results can be found and on the Gym Devils' Twitter and Facebook pages.

30 Years of Spini
Arizona State University's longest currently tenured coach, John Spini, has entered his 30th year of coaching. In his 30 years at ASU, Spini has sent his Sun Devil teams to 20 NCAA Championships and has had at least one Sun Devil represent ASU at the NCAA Championships 24 out of 28 seasons. He has coached 26 All-Americans for a total of 80 All-American accolades. Six women have won individual NCAA titles under Spini. Additionally, nine of Spini's Sun Devil squads have finished in the top five at the NCAA Championships, including four teams (1983, 1985, 1986, 1997) who were runner-up. The Sun Devils have qualified for an NCAA regional each of the seasons Spini has been the ASU gymnastics skipper.

Scouting the competition
Stanford is currently eighth in the country with a scoring average of 195.983. They are eighth on vault, fourth on bars, 13th on beam and fourth on floor. Carly Janiga is currently 11th in the all-around and sixth on bars. Three other members of Stanford's team are ranked in the all-around with Ashley Morgan at 20th, Shelley Alexander at 21st and Allyse Ishino 23rd. Two Stanford gymnasts are ranked on floor as Morgan is 15th and Nicole Pechanec is 21st.

Miss Mary
Mary Atkinson showed the gymnastics world what she is made of as she tied for first in the all-around, shattering her previous career-best by tallying a 39.450 against Arizona. She crushed her all-time best on bars after performing a near perfect routine of 9.950. Atkinson also shined on vault with a career-best of 9.9 and tallied yet another personal high score of 9.775 on beam. Against Utah, Atkinson tied her vault (9.9) and floor (9.875) career-best. She earned her third 9.9 on vault at Washington and is currently ranked 13th nationally in the event.

Leaving it all on the floor
The Gym Devils have bursted into the top 25 on floor thanks in part to Kari Ward's new exciting choreography. Atkinson's elegant routine has garnered several high scores while the crowd cannot help but dance along to Nickie Johnson's Lady Gaga routine, in which she has delivered a 9.875. Madison Snowden wowed the crowd last week against Utah, earning a 9.85 in her Sun Devil debut. The Sun Devils are currently 23rd on floor with a team high of 49.1.

New kids on the block
The Gym Devils 2010 roster is full of new additions to the team. Six newcomers have already made the lineups this season. Nickie Johnson and Christina Salavec are both training in the all around. Carly McMahon earned a career-best 9.825 on vault at Washington. Amelia Rew, who just came to the team this month, is looking to be in the vault and potentially beam lineups. Freshman walk-on Jordyn McIntyre is working hard for a spot on the bars lineup. Another newcomer who will contribute significantly this season for the Gym Devils is sophomore transfer Amanda Davies who has been steady in the team's intrasquads this preseason.

We're cuckoo for Kahoku
Kahoku Palafox has emerged into quite the gymnast for the Gym Devils. Palafox, who has been a starter on bars since her first meet of her freshman season, nailed her bar routine against Arizona to tie for second with a career-best 9.9. Palafox has also been a strong beamworker for the Sun Devils. Against Utah, she led the team with a career-high 9.825. The Sun Devils had their best beam rotation of the season that meet.

Shining senior
After two years of being one of the team's top beam and bar-workers, Kaitlynn Bormann has given vault a shot again and has consistently been in the lineup this season. Despite not competing it since her freshman season, Bormann topped her previous career-high on vault by nailing it for a 9.8. She has earned that score three times this season. Bormann has also put up scores of 9.825 on beam.

Super Frosh
Three of the Gym Devils freshmen have been given spots in the lineup this season. Nickie Johnson competed on three events (Vault, Bars, Floor) this season while Christina Salavec performed on floor and beam. Amelia Rew also competed on vault. Johnson has earned scores of 9.825 on bars and a 9.875 on floor. She has tied for first on floor twice with senior Mary Atkinson. Salavec has notched a 9.775 and has also scored a career-best 9.75. She has yet to miss a routine.

Clever Devils
Brittany Schuett had the highest grade point average in the conference last season with a 4.04 in speech and hearing. For her achievements in the classroom, she was named to the Pac-10 All-Academic First-Team. Mary Atkinson earned Second-Team recognition from the conference. Both Atkinson and freshman Amelia Rew are both members of the prestigious Barrett Honors College here at ASU and are bioscience majors.

Injury Update
Beate Jones, who was the Sun Devils' top all-arounder last season, is out indefinitely with a Lisfranc injury that occurred during preseason. Jones achieved career-highs last season on V (9.925), UB (9.825), BB (9.9), FX (9.9) and in the all-around (39.4). Freshman Christina Salavec, who has been one of the team's most consistent performers this season, was out last week with a minor toe injury. She is expected to be back in the lineup this week.

Socialize with the Devils
Be sure to follow the Arizona State Gymnastics team on Facebook and Twitter! Links to both are on Inside information, trivia questions and videos are featured on the fan sites.

Next up
The Gym Devils host Oregon State in a co-ed meet where the ASU men's club team will compete alongside the women's team.