Gym Devils look for consistency before first quad-meet

Senior Madison Snowden performs on the beam against UA on Jan. 27. Snowden and the rest of the Gym Devils compete in their first quad-meet Saturday night. (Photo by Beth Easterbrook)

The Sun Devils may be in a slump for now, but that may be all the more reason they will see themselves succeed from here on out.

The No. 25 ASU gymnastics team (4–6, 2–5 Pac-12) will compete in its first quad-meet Saturday night. They will be performing alongside the No. 17 Denver Pioneers (12–5, 1–0 WAC), the No. 19 Minnesota Gophers (6–9, 1–4 Big 10) and the Iowa Buckeyes (6–8–1, 1–3–1 Big 10).

ASU will be competing in the Pac-12 championships a week later.

These next two meets are going to give the Gym Devils opportunities to improve their chances at qualifying for the NCAA Regionals and Nationals meets.

Uncharacteristic mistakes and sore bodies have haunted the Gym Devils these past several meets, but, they remain focused on what’s most important as they enter the closing stretch.

“Practices have been really good, and I think we’re all really excited for the next two meets,” senior Beaté Jones said. “A lot of things could go well for us if we do well. We’re not really worrying about scores right now. We’re just worrying about the routines we have to do and hitting them and making them just that much better. Everybody is just really excited because we definitely have the potential to do well, and we just want to show it to everybody else.”

Jones specifically has the potential to excel. She is the No. 21 all-around performer in the nation. The four times she has posted a 39.200 or higher, ASU has scored a 195.000 or higher.

The Gym Devils have dealt with some changes on the balance beam as of late and are now No. 22 in the nation on the beam.

“We’re just trying to make that beam transition, and I think those have been our biggest stepping-stones, those two falls,” coach John Spini said, referring to the two balance beam falls at Washington and at home against Stanford.

Although it may be difficult, Spini also believes a newfound certainty must come from the Gym Devils.

“(We’re) trying to get back up the energy and confidence we had in those first four or five meets,” Spini said. “Winning gives you a lot of energy. What are our goals? Getting to Pac-12s, trying to be in that top three (or) four range, going into a good region, and putting it out on the floor and seeing how high we can go up in the rankings. We’ve got to have good goals, too.”

The past few meets, consistency has become a problem for ASU. The solution can sometimes be very basic.

“It’s just putting all four events together (and) hitting all four events together,” assistant coach Tom Ward said. “We haven’t done that in a while.”

Reach the reporter at gdemano@asu.edu

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