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ASU Gymnastics: Gym Devils post individual highs but fall to California

(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)

Arizona State lost to No. 15 California on Monday night before a crowd dressed in pink for its annual Pink Meet in support of breast cancer awareness.

The Gym Devils began the night on the vault, getting off to a slow start. Taylor Allex had the best vault of the night, scoring a 9.875, but after several steps and bounces on their landings, the Sun Devils finished with 48.375 points.

The Cal Bears started their night on the uneven bars with a strong team score of 49.200. 2015 Pac-12 Newcomer award winner Toni-Ann Williams came in first on bars with a 9.900 after sticking her landing.

The competitors traded apparatuses for the second rotation.

Senior Carissa Kraus and freshman Katelyn Lentz led the Gym Devils, each scoring a 9.850. Freshman Heather Udowitch fell off the bars twice in the middle of her routine leaving her with a score of 8.100 and the team with a 48.800 for the rotation.

Meanwhile, California continued to outscore ASU on the vault with four of the six gymnasts earning a 9.800 or above, achieving another 49.200 for the rotation.

Next up the ASU took on the beam.

The Gym Devils got off to a shaky start with senior Allie Salas scoring a low 9.575 and freshman Justine Callis unable to keep her balance early in her routine leaving her with a 9.175. Freshman Katelyn Lentz anchored on beam for ASU, but fell at the beginning of her routine, giving her an automatic 0.500 deduction. Lentz redeemed herself with a sold roundoff double tuck and a stuck landing to close her routine.  She earned a 9.375, allowing the Gym Devils to drop Callis’s low score. Senior Becca Conrad only competed on beam, but she made it count. Conrad had a clean triple series with a solid dismount, allowing her to tie her all-time best score of 9.825. Freshman Corinne Belkoff, who is coming off three season high scores in all around at Stanford last week, scored the second highest on beam for the Devils with a 9.800 – tying her career best.

“It was exciting to come home and be in front of the home crowd and reassure myself that I can get those scores,” Belkoff said.

For their third rotation on the floor, the Golden Bears started off modestly with their first two scores coming in under 9.700. The Bears are ninth in the country in this discipline because of their clean combination work and strong routines.  

Williams, currently 16th in the country on floor, continued to show why she came in 20th at nationals last year. Last week, Williams won the meet at the University of Arizona with a 9.995. On Monday, she scored her fifth 9.900+ score of the season with a 9.950 after a solid double pike on her last tumbling pass.  

The Gym Devils pulled it together on the floor; after the opening routine ASU went five for five and every competitor scored 9.800 or higher.  Allex included a double Arabian in the first pass and a front one and a half twist in the final pass, finishing with a new career high of 9.950.  Udowitch contributed a 9.800 after a solid routine and Salas tallied her highest score of the night with a 9.850 showing good amplitude on her final pass.  

California took its fourth and final pass on the beam, continuing their strong showing.  Freshman Sofie Seilnacht led the Bears’ attack with a new career high of 9.850.  She was followed by Williams who used a standing front tuck and unique double front dismount, earning another career high of 9.925.  Cal’s team score on the beam was 49.325, an all-time record for the program.  The previous record, set in 2004, was 49.300.

All of Williams’ scores were over 9.900.  Her all around score of 39.700 tied the Cal program record as she looks toward the Rio Olympics.

The final score for ASU tonight was 194.725, losing to Cal by a 2.175 point margin.

ASU head coach Rene Lyst said the team’s potential is higher than the score was tonight.

“This team’s potential is between the 195 and 196 range. I would say we need a little bit more talent and little bit more depth to go towards that 197 range,” she said.

ASU will compete at home against University of Arizona next Monday at 7 p.m. The meet will be broadcasted on the Pac-12 Networks.

You can contact Madeline Witt via e-mail 

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