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Gym Devils host Oregon State, Air Force in co-ed meet

February 25, 2010

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The No. 22 Arizona State women's gymnastics team hosts No. 7 Oregon State this Friday at 7:30 at Wells Fargo Arena. Competing alongside the Sun Devils and the Beavers will be the ASU men's club gymnastics team and their opponent Air Force. This is the third time in recent years the two Sun Devil gymnastics teams have competed alongside each other. The Gym Devils are currently 2-7 while the Beavers just lost their first meet to UCLA last weekend.

Co-ed Classic
The ASU women's team has had a spectacular showing in the past at the co-ed meets, currently boasting a 2-0 record when the men compete with the ladies. Last season, the Sun Devils earned their then season-high against the Washington Huskies while competing alongside the men's meet. In 2007, the Sun Devils topped the Huskies to earn their then best score of the season with a 196.525.

Gym Devils in the rankings
The Sun Devils are currently sitting at 22nd after the first rankings based on Regional Qualifying scores. They are ranked in every event, including beam for the first time all season. The Gym Devils are 12th on floor, 16th on bars, 23rd on beam and 24th on vault. With the RQS rankings, Mary Atkinson is now 12th in the all-around, 11th on vault, 12th on bars, and 18th on floor.

Promotions and more
The ASU women's gymnastics team will perform at halftime of Thursday's women's basketball game. Fans who attend the women's basketball game and bring their ticket stub to meet on Friday will receive $3 admission. Fans will receive a men and women's poster at the meet.

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
Oregon State has been ranked as high as third this season. Senior Mandi Rodriguez leads the Beavers who are ranked seventh in the current rankings. They are fourth on vault with Rodriguez at seventh in the indivdual rankings while Becky Covin (10th) and Makayla Stambaugh (21) are also ranked. On bars, the Beavers are listed at sixth with Laura-Ann Chong (fifth) and Jen Kesler (21st) leading the team. The Beavers are seventh on beam iwth Rodriguez (19) and Chong (24th) ranked as individuals. The Beavers are ranked highest on floor as they have the second-highest RQS score in the event. Rodriguez leads OSU at fourth. Rodriguez is also ranked fourth in the all-around.

Miss Mary
Atkinson has emerged into the nation's top all-arounders this season. Last week, the junior combined a career-best 39.5 thanks to three career-highs on vault (9.9), beam (9.8) and floor (9.9). She has been incredibly consistent on vault this season as she has scored her career-high of 9.9 four times this season. Bars and floor have also been strong events for Atkinson as she has garnered team-high 9.95 on bars and has been the team's top floorworker this season. She has been consistently improving on beam this season and is the team's anchor in the event.

Leaving it all on the floor
The Gym Devils have bounced up to 12th nationally on floor after achieving a season-best 49.275 against Stanford. Atkinson's elegant routine has garnered several high scores (including a career-best 9.9) 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 has wowed the crowd each week, including last week against Stanford when she delivered a personal-best 9.9.

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. Madison Snowden has also been a powerful force on the floor as she has garnered three scores over 9.825 in three meets.

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.

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, has been out with a minor toe injury.

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 will host Central Michigan for their final home meet of the season on March 3 at 7:30 p.m. Senior Kaitlynn Bormann will be honored that night.