(Photo: Tyler Paley/WCSN)
Arizona State gymnastics improved its overall scores from a week ago but ultimately fell short to No. 7 Denver on the road on Saturday. The Gym Devils competed in a quad meet against Denver, Texas Women’s and Air Force.
Arizona State started off strong on bars collecting a 48.550. The event was led by all-around junior Nichelle Christopherson who earned a season-high 9.825. Sophomore Eileen Imbus made her season debut on the event, scoring a respectable 9.750. Freshman Ashley Szafranski had another solid bars routine, improving her career bar score with a 9.775.
After the first rotation, Denver led with a 48.825. Arizona State was not far behind in second while Air Force was in third and Texas Women’s in fourth.
The Gym Devils moved to the beam for the second rotation. Senior Beka Conrad was the first to compete in the event, scoring a 9.775. Sophomore Heather Udowitch scored a 9.750 to make her 2017 debut. Christopherson continued to improve her all-around score, earning a season high 9.850 on the beam. Sophomore Justine Callis scored a 9.750 thanks in part to a stuck landing to improve the Gym Devils’ beam score to 48.575.
Through two rotations, Arizona State still trailed Denver 97.925-97.125. Texas Women’s moved to the third spot while Air Force dropped to fourth with cumulative scored of 95.825 and 95.600, respectively.
ASU struggled on the floor in the third rotation of the night. Freshman Averie Brook made her collegiate debut on the event, but a big deduction led to a low score of 8.950. Freshman Mekayla Jones beat her career-high on floor, earning a 9.650. Sophomore Katelyn Lentz helped improve the team’s floor score, posting a 9.725. Christopherson scored a 9.000 on floor while freshman Morgan Hart scored a career-high 9.800.
After three rotations, Denver continued to lead the meet, jumping ahead 2.525 points over the Gym Devils. In third place was Texas Women’s and in fourth was Air Force.
Arizona State finished the night out on vault. Freshman Graycee Rushton started the final rotation for the Gym Devils with a 9.650. Sophomores Corinne Belkoff and Katelyn Lentz both earned season-highs, scoring 9.700 and 9.750, respectively. Freshman Jessica Ginn scored a career- and team-high 9.800 on vault. Christoperson closed the meet for Arizona State, scoring a 9.575.
Denver swept the all-around and individual event competition. Freshman Maddie Karr of Denver won the all-around competition with a final score of 39.425.
The Gym Devils took second in the quad-meet with a final score of 193.275. No. 7 Denver earned the victory with a 196.350 total. Texas Women’s finished third with a 192.125, and Air Force finished fourth with a final score of 189.900.
The Gym Devils will compete against UC Davis in their first home meet of the 2017 season next Saturday, Jan. 21 at Wells Fargo Arena. The meet is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. and will be lived streamed on Pac-12 Plus and Twitter.