Gymnasts trying to continue rise - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Gymnasts trying to continue rise

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Posted: Saturday, March 25, 2006 6:12 am | Updated: 5:01 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Arizona State’s gymnastics team is headed in the right direction.

The Sun Devils have climbed five spots in the national rankings, to No. 9, in recent weeks as they prepare for this weekend’s Pac-10 championships in Corvallis, Ore.

The Devils hope to come away with a top-six seed nationally.

“I expect us to be very aggressive,” coach John Spini said.

ASU’s hopes for a big meet rest on its top four gymnasts.

• Senior Ashley Kelly is ranked No. 2 in the nation in the all-around competition. She has the nation’s best all-around score this season at 39.875.

• Junior April Boone is ranked No. 13 in the all-around.

• Freshman Nicole Harris is ranked No. 25 in the all-around.

• Junior Cassandra Jussino won the vault competition in ASU’s recent loss at No. 19 Denver.

“Those four kids really embody our team,” Spini said.

ASU is the favorite entering the meet, though Stanford and UCLA are ranked close behind. Six gymnasts from each school will enter the four events (uneven bar, vault, balance beam and floor exercise) with the low score being thrown out.

Spini emphasized that winning the Pac-10 is less important than improving the Sun Devils’ regional qualifying score of 196.120. An improved score increases the likelihood of the Sun Devils getting a top seed for the NCAA meet.

ASU has finished in the top three in 15 of the 26 Pac-10 meets in which it has participated.

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