In what was supposed to be a glorified practice, the ASU gymnastics team placed sixth in the Pac-10 Championships on Saturday at Stanford.
Coach John Spini said earlier in the week that he expected the girls to focus on teamwork and use the championships as more of a practice for the upcoming regionals.
“I was kind of disappointed with the meet,” Spini said.
The Sun Devils posted a 194 in the conference meet, one of ASU’s lowest scores of the season.
One of the more consistent Sun Devils, sophomore Francesca Mercurio, was taken to the Stanford Medical Center prior to the meet, where she was diagnosed with mononucleosis.
Sophomore Mary Atkinson also was pulled eventually because of discomfort in her shoulder.
“We’re going to get an MRI on Mary’s shoulder to see if it is tendonitis,” Spini said.
If the results come back positive, the Sun Devils could be without two of their more consistent gymnasts. Mercurio is expected to miss three weeks unless doctors clear her to compete.
Senior Nicole Harris also has been hit with the injury bug and cannot practice because of an injured shoulder.
The Sun Devils will find out today if they make NCAA Regionals. Spini said Arkansas will be the team to beat in the region, especially with the meet’s taking place in Arkansas.
With all that went wrong at Stanford, Spini said the lineups will see changes if the team does in fact make regionals.
“We’re going to put in the strongest lineup and go for more consistency,” Spini said.
There were a few bright spots from the Pac-10 Championships, though. The Sun Devils performed well on beam, with Harris again leading the team with a near-perfect score.
Freshman Kelly Reilly also earned a respectable score while filling in for Mercurio.
Freshman Stephanie Hangartner filled in for Atkinson on bars, where she has only performed twice this year. She ended up scoring the second-highest mark for ASU.
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