TEMPE, Ariz.- The Arizona State gymnastics team went over 49 on two events Friday, but fell to No. 22 Washington, 196 – 195.500, Friday night in a dual meet with the men’s team at a crowded Wells Fargo Arena.
“I thought we were really rough in areas,” ASU coah John Spini said. “Our workhorses are our sophomores. Overall, I think they did a great job; there is so much potential for the end of the year.”
ASU, which is ranked 27th nationally, scored a 48.45 on vault with Carissa Kraus the high vaulter (9.85) and Kristine Levin second (9.7). Next, on the bars, it had a 48.975, led by Brianna Gades (9.875), senior Amelia Rew and freshman Risa Perez (both 9.8).
“I have a lot of fun out there,” Perez said. “Usually, when I have fun, we score better, so it felt really good.”
The Gym Devils moved to the beam, where they rank 14th nationally, and totaled a 49 – just short of the 49.025 they did last week versus Stanford. Stephanie Miceli posted a 9.875, followed by Gades (9.825), Morgan Steigerwalt (9.8), Perez (9.775), and Kahoku Palafox (9.725).
Natasha Sundby was highest on floor (9.9- the highest score of the evening on the final routine), Gades was second (9.875), and Perez third (9.8), as the team posted a 49.075.
“Our team kind of struggled, so it was good to end the meet on a high note,” Sundby said. “It was a lot of fun because there were a lot of people here, and I think it affected the outcome. When our team has a fall, it (the crowd) really helps pick us up.”
Washington boasted four athletes from Arizona on its roster: senior Megan Whitney from Mesa’s Red Mountain High School and a transfer from Utah, freshman Sheridan Metcalf from Mesa Mountain View, junior Aliza Vaccher from Desert Mountain, and freshman Kiersten Graber from Prescott. Graber did her club gymnastics at Arizona Dreams, while the other three did theirs at Desert Devils. Whitney was the state all-around champion at level 10 from 2006-09.
The Huskies put up a 49.075 on the uneven bars, led with Lauren Rogers’ 9.875 and Allison Northey (9.85) and Sheridan Metcalf (9.825) just behind her. Rogers was also their top vaulter with a 9.85, while Northey scored a 9.825, as the team recorded a 48.875.
Ranked eleventh on the beam, Washington turned in a 49.025, led by Vaccher (9.825), while Rogers, Northey, McKenzie Fechter, and Paige Bixler all tallied a 9.8.
Rogers and Vaccher led Washington on the floor, each with a 9.85, as the team scored a 48.975. Graber recorded a 9.75.
Up next, ASU heads to Tucson to face No. 15 Arizona at 3 p.m. March 2, while the Huskies will meet Oregon State and Sacramento State March 9 in Corvallis, Ore. ASU concludes its home schedule at 7 p.m. March 15 against Bridgeport.
As for the men, ASU recorded a team-record 406.050 to outduel the Huskies (364.050), who are also a club team. Riley Barclay, the coach’s son, won the floor (14.5), Stevie Gregg the pommel horse (13.9) and parallel bars (13.85), Lee Wilkerson the rings (14.150), Brian Malone the vault (14.3), and Alex Gaudaur the high bar (13.7).
“It was a tremendous meet,” ASU men’s coach Scott Barclay said. “Every year, at the end of the year, I ask my guys what their most memorable moment was, and almost to a ‘T’ everyone says this meet is what they cherish the most. When they see their home cheer them on like this, it only happens once a year. My son, his last meet, he had a great career, I’m super proud of him.”
- Florida is currently No. 1 overall nationally, while Vanessa Zamarripa of UCLA is the No. 1 individual all-arounder and 2009 World all-around champion Bridget Sloan of the Gators is No. 2.
- Of note, taking on the role of assistant coach for Washington was Elise Ray, the 2000 national champion and Sydney Olympian who was recently inducted into the U.S. Gymnastics Hall of Fame.