FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— In the final meet of his 34-year career as a Sun Devil, head coach John Spini led the Arizona State women’s gymnastics team to a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Fayetteville Regional, Saturday, in Fayetteville, Ark. The Sun Devils scored a total of 194.425 to finish out the 2014 season. Fellow Pac-12 teams Utah and UCLA advance from the Fayetteville Regional with scores of 197.300 and 196.600, respectively.
Consistent with the mood of the entire season, Spini enjoyed himself out on the floor. Fist pumps, high fives and hugs came from the man who “just wanted to have fun” in his final year of coaching the Gym Devils. Ending the meet on a bye, Spni was surrounded by his gymnasts in the closing moments of his career.
On beam freshman Beka Conrad, sophomore Risa Perez and junior Brianna Gades all saw success for ASU. Gades led the team with a score of 9.850 on beam. Gades score was also the highest score for the Gym Devils the entire meet. Perez and Conrad scored 9.800 each to help the Sun Devils record a team total of 48.775.
The Sun Devils started the meet on floor and showed the consistency for which the team has been known all season. While ASU did not set any season bests, the Gym Devils hit six for six with junior Morgan Steigerwalt and sophomore Risa Perez taking home the top scores of the event with 9.800 each. Natasha Sundby recorded the highest score overall but a step out of bounds on her first pass cost the junior a tenth of a point for a total score of 9.750 instead of 9.850.
On vault, the Gym Devils once again was hitting all their routines. Sundby paced Arizona State with a score of 9.825 on her tuck one and one half. Sophomore Carissa Kraus and senior Sammie Seaman added scores of 9.800 to give ASU an event total of 48.875.
For the second-straight meet the Sun Devils had to count a fall on bars with both freshman Beka Conrad and sophomore Stephanie Miceli putting their hands down on the landing of their dismount. Kraus, who has led ASU all season and is ranked 44th in the country, scored 9.775 to anchor the Gym Devils. The team scored an event total of 47.900 having to count Conrad's fall.
Spini, the fourth-longest head coach in NCAA Gymnastics history and longest tenured coach in ASU history finishes his career with a record of 358-235-2, all with Arizona State.