By Mary Kate Lau, SDA Communications
TEMPE, Ariz.--It was a night where grace and poise met grunt and force and the No. 23 ASU Gymnastics team came out victorious alongside ASU wrestling in their “Beauty and the Beast Meet” against Cal Friday night with a score of 196.00 to 195.350.
“They showed a lot of fight and resiliency after a couple of weaker routines first up on beam and bars,” assistant coach Tom Ward said. “That’s huge the way they came in to seal the deal and win on floor and close the door in the final rotation shows how good this team really is.”
Consistency was the story in this one with the Gym Devils (5-1) tight all evening. They had a season high on bars and .025 short of a season-high on floor. The team did not count a score lower than 9.650 and 14 routines hit above 9.800. Career highs were earned by freshman Beka Conrad and sophomore Kristine Levin, who both notched a 9.800 on floor and bars respectively.
Both bars and beam began a little rocky, but the team pulled through with solid routines late in the lineup. On bars, Risa Perez over-rotated on her handstand, but it was followed by three straight 9.8s and a 9.850 from junior Brianna Gades and another 9.8 from sophomore Carissa Kraus to pull off the season high 49.050. It was a similar story on beam where Conrad fell and freshman Gilly Hogue wobbled, but the final four routines put the team in good position going into the final rotation.
The team competed from behind all night, coming in to floor down by three tenths. The Gym Devils did not count a score below 9.800 to finish off the night and took the lead for the first time as Cal stumbled on beam. In a moment that had fans buzzing, Natasha Sundby led the team with a 9.875 in the anchor spot to seal the deal at the same tame ASU wrestling was beginning to gain some momentum in the ring five feet away. The stunning performance gave the team a rotation score of 49.125 an even 196.00 for the meet.
Also in the arena, ASU wrestling defeated Boise State 21-15 to go 6-5 overall and 1-0 in Pac 12.ASU Gymnastics competes again next Saturday against Utah at 1:00p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe.