Gym Devils travel to first road meet vs. Sacramento State, San Jose State

Sun Devils; Gymnastics; Wells Fargo Kahoku Palafox performs a routine on the beams during the Sun Devils’ home meet against No. 4 Oklahoma on Jan. 12. ASU looks to rebound from its loss to the Sooners on the road vs. San Jose State and Sacramento State on Jan. 18. (Photo by Molly J. Smith)

After a tough first meet loss to No. 4 Oklahoma at home last Saturday, the ASU gymnastics squad must shake out the jitters to get ready for Sacramento State and San Jose state at this weekend’s tri-meet.

“Our goal this week is just to work on the little details, as far as hand stands on bars and better landings for every event,” assistant coach Tom Ward said.

Those were the little details that cost them against Oklahoma, and the team only has two practices to fix them due to travel.

While ASU’s lone competitor this season was Oklahoma last week, San Jose State has already been in two quad meets. The Spartans competed in one against three ranked teams, finishing second and fourth, respectively. They’ve seen Stanford in both of those meets, and this week’s tri-meet will be the second time they see rival Sacramento State out of three meetings this season.

Although the team put up low scores of 192.875 and 192.550, last year’s NCAA West Region Coach of the Year, Wayne Wright has a couple of juniors who can put up big numbers.

Julia Greer has a career high 9.875 on beam and a 9.85 on floor and Boise State transfer Bekah Gher put up a 9.8 on beam last week.

Sacramento State was hit with several injuries in the first meet, scoring a 191.100. The Hornets were without last year’s WAC beam champion, Kailey Hansen. Cayla Boyce suffered an ankle injury during competition and was unable to finish her floor routine. The Hornets also had four falls on beam.

Amidst several problems, the team still featured the top all-around athlete in sophomore Kalliah McCartney, who scored a 38.825.

Sacramento State made a big comeback the following week against Seattle Pacific, handily beating them 194.500-188.475. McCartney won her second all-around in a row with a 39.3 — her third-best career score.

ASU sophomore Brianna Gades is confident about the Gym Devils’ chances at winning their first away meet.

“I feel pretty good,” she said. “I think we're all really ready, and travelling is really fun for all of us, and I think we're going to do really well.”

Heading to Sacramento will mean the first time travelling as a team for the seven freshmen on the roster.

“I think I’m really looking forward to bonding as a team,” Miceli said. “I think being on the road together will really help us become closer when we're competing.”

Miceli had a good first meet as a freshman providing consistency for the beam lineup with a 9.75.

“You've got to get used to the bigger arena, the bigger crowd," Miceli said. "It’s more of a team sport, and I have to learn to not be so hard on myself. It was my first college experience, but I thought it went pretty well overall.”

Miceli will be making an even bigger impact on Friday as she will join the vault lineup for the first time for the still shorthanded Sun Devils.


ASU will be without junior Samantha Seaman once again, and sophomore Natelle Gentile will redshirt the season after suffering a nose injury prior to the Oklahoma meet. The team will have sophomore Morgan Steigerwalt back providing both leadership and strong scores on beam and vault.


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