March 7, 2013
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DENVER, Colo.--The Arizona State women's gymnastics team travels to Denver, Colo., to compete in its second tri-meet of the season against the 13th-ranked Denver Pioneers and the Illinois State Redbirds, Saturday in a sold-out Hamilton Gymnasium. The meet begins at 6 p.m. MT and features a special appearance by 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Jordyn Wieber.
The Sun Devils are rebounding from an uncharacteristic showing on beam in last week's meet against Arizona in Tucson. Through three rotations, the meet was still very much in contention with the Gym Devils winning the bar event and freshman Carissa Kraus scoring a career-high 9.875 on vault. Sophomore Natasha Sundby led the Sun Devils on floor with a score of 9.875 and sophomores Morgan Steigerwalt and Brianna Gades each added 9.800-plus scores. However, having to count two falls on beam and an errant landing put the meet out of reach in the final rotation, leaving a bitter taste in the Gym Devils' mouth. Steigerwalt's performance on beam was a bright spot, scoring a career-high 9.850 in the event.
ASU has 11 underclassmen, including seven freshmen, and if the gymnasts did not understand the Arizona State vs. Arizona rivalry going into the meet, they had fully embraced the atmosphere, the passion, and the drive for victory. In practice this week, Kraus relayed she got the picture of the meet's importance on the way home in the bus. The team had posted such consistent marks for the past five meets, Kraus said it was a shock to her and her teammates to have the meet end to abruptly. She and her fellow freshmen now understand the gravity of the meet and are using it as motivation for the rest of the season.
The Arizona meet also marked come backs from sophomore Natelle Gentile and freshman Erin Hamister. Gentile made her first appearance of the season on beam after injuring her self in premeet warm-ups against Oklahoma in the first competition of the season. Hamister recorded a career-high 9.850 on vault against Oregon State before tweaking her ankle in practice. Hamister had sat out the Stanford and Washington meets to rest her ankle. Also returning to the line-up is freshman Stephanie Miceli. Miceli is one of the Sun Devils top beam and floor workers and will add depth to each of the event line-ups. Junior Samantha Seaman, the Sun Devils' top All-Around gymnast from 2012, is hitting milestones in her path to recovery and competition.
Live scoring is available at DenverPioneers.com. No live video will be available for the meet and unfortunately, live tweeting from the site is also unavailable.