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Sun Devil gymnasts head to Bay Area to compete against Cal

January 16, 2008

This Week --
The Arizona State women's gymnastics team concludes its three meet road stretch this weekend at Pac-10 rival Califonia. The Sun Devils, under 29th-year head coach John Spini, return five gymnasts to the squad. Although young, the Sun Devils look to compete in their 27th consecutive regional and make the NCAA Championships. 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. Spini's regular-season record is now 319-132-2. His won-loss record at home is 171-35-1.

Scouting Cal --
Although not ranked in the preseason poll, California is currently ranked 22nd in this weeks poll. This is the first time the Golden Bears have been ranked since 2005. The Bears are ranked 12th on beam and 24th on vault.

ASU In The Rankings --
The Arizona State women's gymnastics team is currently ranked 23rd. The Sun Devils are also ranked ninth on beam. Individually, Ashlee Hinkle is currently ranked 20th on floor, and eighth on vault. was ranked 18th in the Preseason Coaches' Poll released by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches. The Sun Devils finished last season ranked 21st overall.

ASU Faces Nation's Finest --
The Sun Devils will face nine of the top-ranked programs in the country, four of which are in the top ten and four in the Pac-10 Conference, according to the preseason coaches poll. The Sun Devils have already competed against No. 4 UCLA, No. 11 Oregon State and No. 7 Nebraska. The Sun Devils will open their home slate against long-time rival No. 3 Utah (Jan. 25) and will also host No. 11 Oregon State (Jan 30), No. 12 Arizona (Feb. 15), No. 5 Stanford (Feb 29), No. 13 Penn State (Mar. 7) and No. 20 Ohio State. The Sun Devils also travel to No. 16 Missouri (Mar. 21).

Top of the Pac--
Nicole Harris enters her third season as a Sun Devil coming off a successful sophomore campaign. Harris earned All-Pac-10 All-Around honors after placing third at the Pac-10 Championships. Harris earned a season high 39.475 in the all-around to place third. She also placed third on beam (9.925) and fourth on bars (9.900) at the Pac-10 Championships last season. Harris was also a 2006 All-American selection on beam.

All Around Tiana--
Junior Tiana Jean is competing in the all-around for the first time in her collegiate career. The Pullayup, Wash., native shined last season on bars, beam and floor and has added vault to her event list this season. She scored a career-high 38.900 at Nebraska last week. Jean, along with Nicole Harris, currently has the team's highest bar score so far this season.

Hard Work Pays Off--
Junior Ashlee Hinkle's hard work in the gym has truly paid off as shown at the Lady Luck Invitational this past weekend. The Glendale, Ariz., native had a career-night as she earned a new personal best on vault, a 9.875, to place third overall and tied her career-best floor performance with a 9.850 to place third. The junior also tied for second on beam with a 9.800.

She's Back!--
Tia Orlando, who was sidelined last season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament, competed in her first meet since the 2006 NCAA Championships. Orlando, who as an Elite won the floor exercise at the 2003 Pan-American Games, tied for second with teammate Ashlee Hinkle on beam with a career high 9.800. Orlando also competed on bars, scoring a 9.700.

Incoming Devil--
Stephanie Hangartner of Mesa, Ariz., has signed a letter of intent to study and compete at Arizona State starting in fall 2008. Hangartner will join the Sun Devils squad as a potential all-arounder. She was the 2005 State Champion in the all-around and was a junior Olympic qualifier.

2008 Results --
Lady Luck Invitational (1/4): The Sun Devils finished third at the Lady Luck Invitational. Ashlee Hinkle and Tia Orlando tied for second on beam with scores of 9.800. Orlando's score was a career high. Hinkle tied for third on vault (9.875) and floor (9.850). Hinkle's vault score was a career-high while her floor score tied her personal-best. Beaté Jones earned a 9.800 on vault to place eighth overall. Nicole Harris and Tiana Jean tied for fourth on beam with scores of 9.775. Jean also tied for fourth on bars (9.775) and fifth on floor (9.800).

At Nebraska (1/13): The Sun Devils fell 195.550-193.075 to the No. 7 Huskers. Nicole Harris and Tiana Jean both had season-best scores of 9.800 on bars to place third. Ashlee Hinkle led the Sun Devils on vault with a score of 9.800. Competing on vault for the first time this season, Harris was the second highest scoring Devil with a 9.750. On floor, freshman Beaté Jones had a career-best 9.775 to lead the Sun Devils. Jean and Hinkle were the top scoring Sun Devils on beam with scores of 9.725 apiece. Jean scored a 38.900 in the all-around while Jones compiled a 38.600