TEMPE, Ariz.- The underclassmen on the Arizona State gymnastics team continued to progress with strong routines Friday, but the Sun Devils fell to No. 12 Oregon State 196.3- 195.450.
It was Oregon State senior Makayla Stambaugh who stole the show, executing a 9.95 on the uneven bars- the highest of anyone in any event Friday, and a winning 9.875 vault, in addition to solid routines on floor (9.825) and beam (9.775).
“I felt this was a good meet,” ASU coach John Spini said. “The beam was a little flat for us, the energy level on vault was good, we still got two walk ons on floor. We’re trying to push to that level, but we still don’t have that healthy Morgan (Steigerwalt) yet. We tried a couple of new dismounts, I think that’s huge for us to get to that next level.”
Australian Melanie Jones tied ASU’s Brianna Gades for the high on floor at 9.85.
“Bri is beautiful,” Spini said. “Very charismatic, classical, good lines, you watch her and go ‘Wow,’ she does a good job.”
Chelsea Tang of OSU had the highest score of the evening on the balance beam (9.875), featuring a spread eagle split. Freshman Samantha Miceli had the best beam routine for ASU at 9.825.
Kahoku Palafox, the fifth-year-senior from Hawaii, posted an ASU-high of 9.825 on the bars Friday.
“It was partially exciting because I have never done that dismount in competition before,” Palafox said. “I normally compete double layout, and this was a double leg pull out, and I’ve only practiced it before, so I just felt like I should do it today, so I did. I felt like I had the energy, I had some really great girls in front of me who inspired me, and I was like ‘Hey, I only get to be at home a few more times, so why not?’ On beam, I got a little excitement from bars.”
Three Gym Devils hit vaults of 9.85: freshman Erin Hamister, freshman Carissa Kraus and sophomore Natasha Sundby.
Amelia Rew, the ASU senior from Mitchell, S.D., also hit a 9.7 on the uneven bars.
“Being a senior, I’m just taking advantage of all of these opportunities to perform,” Rew said. “Our freshmen give us depth, and they’ve been doing such a great job every single time out on the floor. I just tell them to keep what they’ve been doing because they do such a great job of it.”
Coach Spini added he was “very pleased” with Rew’s performance Friday.
“She needed that,” he said. “She’s a senior, coming in and doing a good job on beam. That routine with the double line out, that may need to be pushed back a little to help our score, but I like to have a senior starting. She’s struggled, but we stay with her because by postseason, she’ll work it out.”
Breaking down the individual events: ASU won the floor (49.075-48.875), while OSU took the bars (49.25-48.85), beam (49.050-48.7), and vault (49.125-48.825).
Up next for ASU is No. 10 Stanford Feb. 15 in Palo Alto, Calif., before returning home Feb. 22 to face Washington, of which the men will also compete.