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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
No. 19 Gym Devils Host No. 4 Utes in Autism Awareness Meet
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 01/30/2014
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TEMPE, Ariz.—Coming off back-to-back season-high scores, the No. 19 Arizona State women’s gymnastics team returns to Wells Fargo Arena to host the fourth-ranked Utah Utes, Saturday at 1 p.m. MT in Tempe, Ariz. The meet against the Utes will also be dedicated to Autism awareness and education.

At 19th in the nation, the Gym Devils (5-1, 2-0 Pac-12) earned their highest national ranking since 2010. After starting out the season with a second-place finish at home, the Sun Devils have recorded scores of 195.900 at Washington and topped the 196 mark in January for the first time since 2006 at home against California.

The meet against Utah, Saturday, will transcend a traditional Pac-12 rivalry. After 72 head-to-head meetings with longtime friend and rival Utah coach Greg Marsden, ASU head coach John Spini will oversee his final dual meet against the Utes. 

Together, Spini (34 years) and Marsden (39 years) make up 73 years of gymnastics coaching experience and are two of the top-four active coaches in the NCAA with the longest gymnastics coaching careers. Before the season, Spini announced his retirement after 34 years of coaching the Gym Devils and is the longest tenured coach in ASU history.

On Saturday, the talented fourth-ranked Utes (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) come to Wells Fargo Arena with Marsden looking for his 1,000th career victory as head coach of Utah. Last meet, Utah defeated visiting UCLA 197.125-195.875 to secure the long-time Red Rocks coach his 999th win.

Both the Sun Devils and the Utes are undefeated in a tough Pac-12 Conference, which boasts seven teams ranked in the top-25.

The meet will also shed light on Autism Awareness with local Autism support groups attending the meet and providing information on the developmental disorder. Gymnast Erin Hamister's younger sister has autism and wanted to use a gymnastics meet as a platform to increase awareness and understanding for the condition. 

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