Gymnastics takes closely contested tri-meet

It was a close one in Sacramento.

But ASU gymnastics pulled out a road win by a tenth of a point at Friday night’s tri-meet and placed first in all four events.

They edged past Sacramento State and easily handled San Jose State to get their first win of the season with the score of 194.350 to top Sacramento State’s 194.250, and San Jose State’s 192.525.

“I was very pleased with our performance,” Coach John Spini said. “We still don’t have Morgan fully back yet and we still got a solid road win and I’m just so, so pleased that out of 24 routines we had 14 freshman and only two falls. And we had some backups and it just shows you how hard these kids are working.”

Grad Student Kahoku Palafox took the uneven bars title with a 9.875.

Sophomore Morgan Steigerwalt, freshman Risa Perez and Sacramento State sophomore Kalliah McCartney tied for first on beam with a 9.775.

Sophomore Natasha Sundby put up a career high 9.875 on vault for the second week in a row winning that event and tying for the floor title with a 9.825 in front of friends and family from nearby El Dorado Hills, Calif.

“I feel absolutely amazing,” Sundby said. “It means so much to compete in front of my home crowd. Having my family and friends cheering for me, it’s really all you can ask for.”

Strong scores from McCartney throughout kept Sacramento State in the meet, even putting the Hornets in the lead after the second and third round. She easily won her third straight all-around with the score of 39.200.

Sophomore Brianna Gades also stood out for the Gym Devils with a 9.750 on both beam and bars. Gades was excited after the meet about what the win means for the team.

“It really helped our confidence to go out there and get a win,” She said. “We just need to keep it going.”

Freshman Carissa Kraus also put up big numbers, scoring a 9.825 on vault and a 9.725 on bars, a career high in both after two meets.

“Carissa is just outstanding,” Spini said. “She’s such a presence. The crowd loves her, everyone loves her, and she’s making such a big impact as a freshman.”

San Jose State’s Cassandra Harrison led the Spartans on bars, floor and vault, where she tied a career high 9.825.

The Gym Devils return home to take on top ranked UCLA next Friday at 7 p.m.

Reach the reporter at mklau@asu.edu