ASU gymnastics falls flat against No. 4 Utah in Autism Awareness meet

Sammie Seaman strikes a pose during her floor routine at a home meet against . (Photo by Arianna Grainey)

Sammie Seaman strikes a pose during her floor routine at a home meet against Utah. (Photo by Arianna Grainey)

Riding the momentum of two Pac-12 victories, including a score of 196 in a win over California last week, ASU gymnastics fell flat Saturday afternoon, falling to national power Utah, 197.200-194.850.

The Sun Devils were missing two of their top gymnasts, freshman Gilly Hogue and sophomore Risa Perez.

Coach John Spini said it forced his squad to make some last-minute adjustments.

 
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“We were scrambling at the beginning of the meet trying to figure out what we needed to do for some backups,” Spini said. “I thought the kids did a really good job. We were about one beam routine from getting a 195.6. (Perez and Hogue) hurt us when they’re not in there.”

ASU’s first event of the meet was vault, arguably its most consistent event so far this season. Senior Sammie Seaman opened up with an impressive 9.750, followed by a 9.600 from sophomore Carissa Kraus. Sophomore Allie Salas scored a strong 9.775, and after sophomore Erin Hamister’s 9.800, junior Natasha Sundby scored a 9.825. Freshman Beka Conrad ended the event for the Sun Devils with a 9.725.

ASU’s overall score on vault was a 48.875. For Utah, juniors Kailah Delaney and Tory Wilson led the Utes with 9.950 and 9.925, respectively. Utah finished with a 49.450 on vault.

The second event of the Pac-12 meet for ASU was on uneven bars. Sophomore Kristine Levin led off with a solid 9.725, followed by another 9.725 from Conrad. Sophomore Stephanie Miceli earned a 9.700, and junior Brianna Gades scored a 9.650. Kraus scored the highest on bars for ASU, and the Sun Devils totaled a 48.625. For Utah, junior Georgia Dabritz paced the Utes with a 9.925 as Utah scored a collective 49.225.

Erin Hamister waves during introductions at the meet honoring her Autistic sister. (Photo by Arianna Grainey)

Erin Hamister waves during introductions at the meet honoring her Autistic sister. (Photo by Arianna Grainey)

 

Balance beam was the most encouraging, yet ultimately disappointing event of the meet for the Gym Devils. Conrad opened up with a strong 9.725, followed by an impressive 9.800 from junior Morgan Steigerwalt. Gades also scored a 9.800, and after Miceli scored a 9.825, things were looking strong for the Sun Devils. But both regulars Perez and Hogue were missing from the lineup, forcing Sundby and freshman Kellie Wanamaker into the rotation. Both fell on the beam, and ASU limped to a 48.300 on beam after the impressive start.

The final rotation had ASU on the floor routine, widely considered its best event. Salas started off the event for the Sun Devils, and earned a 9.800. Conrad, who competed in all four events, earning an all-around 38.925, scored a 9.750 on floor. Seaman scored a strong 9.850. Steigerwalt earned a 9.775, and after a fall from Miceli, Sundby wrapped up the meet for ASU with a 9.875.

The Sun Devils will look to regroup next week when they travel to UCLA to take on the Bruins, another national power.

Perez was out of the meet with the stomach flu, while Hogue was out with back spasms. Perez is expected to return against UCLA, while the prognosis on Hogue is not known yet.

“We’re just going to go do our jobs and try to do well,” Spini said. “If we can stick our landings and do a little better on bars I think we can succeed.”

Reach the reporter at stheodor@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @shane_writes