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Gym Devils Come From Behind to Beat No. 10 BYU in Home Opener

Jan 16, 2021

Final Results

TEMPE, Ariz. – After competing from behind for the first three rotations, No. 11 Sun Devil Gymnastics finished on top with a 196.275 to narrowly beat No. 10 BYU's 196.250 in Desert Financial Arena on Saturday.

Notable Stats

  • Arizona State (1-1) took down BYU (2-2) in the home opener with a 196.275. This is the earliest the Sun Devils have scored a 196.000-plus since 2018 when they also earned it in the second week. Last season, the team did not reach 196.000 until February 1.
  • After just one event total surpassing 49.000 last week, three event totals reached that mark this week: bars (49.125), beam (49.225) and floor (49.050). The 49.225 beam event total was the highest ASU has had since March 13, 2019 at home against BYU and West Virginia.
  • Sophomore Hannah Scharf had a career night in the win. She won the all-around with a career-high 39.500. She also won the event titles for beam (9.925) and floor (9.900), both of which were career bests.
  • Scharf's 9.925 on beam was not only a career high for her but also the best beam score by any ASU gymnast since 2019 when Justine Callis earned that score. It is also the highest score by any ASU gymnast on any event this season so far.
  • Freshman Anaya Smith won the vault title with a 9.850, equaling her score from last week.
  • Senior Cairo Leonard-Baker showed up on bars, scoring a 9.875 on bars, which is the highest score by any Gym Devil on bars this season.
  • On beam, Scharf was not the only one who reached a career high. Others who earned new personal bests were Megan Thompson (9.850), Gracie Reeves (9.850, ties her high) and Sarah Clark (9.900).
  • On floor, freshmen Jada Mangahas and Clark both earned career marks as well with a 9.775 and 9.800, respectively.
  • Freshman Cassi Barbanente made her collegiate debut on vault, scoring a 9.750. Another freshman Emily White made her first floor lineup, scoring a 9.650.
  • Sophomore Juliette Boyer also competed in the all-around, scoring a 38.700. She had strong scores on bars (9.825) and floor (9.850).

Arizona State head coach Jay Santos
On Hannah Scharf
"Some of it is experience; Hannah had that freshman year and she knows what to expect. I think she has a lot of confidence in what she's doing right now. She's definitely hungry. She's seen great gymnasts and she sees what it takes. I really think she wants to be one of those great gymnasts in the country. She's going out there and performing. We keep telling them to put on a performance, and that's what she did tonight. She put on a performance."
On Sarah Clark
"We have high expectations for all of our kids, even the freshmen. In our sport, freshmen compete a lot. We aren't a team that redshirts kids. Coming in the door, our freshmen are expected to do a lot. Sarah is a very talented gymnast… And once she really gets going, I think she has even more than (what we saw). I think she has a lot to offer and she's going to be a great Sun Devil."
Looking forward
"I feel great about this team. I'm really excited about it. We've got some young kids that are really talented. We have the sophomores that did so much for us last year. We have Cairo (Leonard-Baker), Meg (Thompson), we have a lot of options and a lot of depth. We moved things around a little bit today and got some really good performances doing that. I'm really excited about this group; we took a nice, big step from last week. Even with the fall on beam, the rest of the group did a good job and held it together. Then we went to floor and finished off the meet and looked calm and poised. I think it's a great step from week one to week two."

Sophomore Hannah Scharf
On taking the lead in the final rotation
"I try not to look at the scores. We had such a good beam rotation. Those last three routines after the fall were probably our best beam routines we've ever done. So we just tried to carry that over and try to keep that energy up."
On her big night
"Coming out of Oklahoma, it wasn't our best meet and we knew that. We knew that our potential we had going into the rest of the season is there. We tried to use Oklahoma as motivation and hit those pressure sets in practice."
On her strong beam performance
"In practice, taking every turn, especially in beam, and putting yourself in a meet situation and always having that pressure is key. I always try to take each turn as if I'm at the meet and someone fell before me. Putting those pressure sets in practice is probably why I was so comfortable up there today."
On the team putting it together and Sarah Clark
"We have been talking about being able to put it all together. And Sarah did such a good job this meet handling the pressure. She had someone fall in front of her on beam and she handled it like a champ. And on floor, she really secured that win for us. I really think it's just us finally being able to put it together. And it's really great that we were able to do it so early. I feel like last year, it kind of took us a little bit to get going. This year it's like a fresh start."

Final Results

  1. Arizona State, 196.275
  2. BYU, 196.250

Rotation One – Vault, 48.875
Vault specialist Anaya Smith led the Gym Devils for a second-straight week, earning another 9.850. Scharf was right behind her after sticking her vault, scoring a 9.825.

Rotation Two – Bars, 49.125
Arizona State continued to shine on bars for the second week in a row. Leonard-Baker's 9.875 in the anchor spot led the way. Scharf scored a 9.850 after fighting for her second stick of the night. White and Boyer scored 9.825s as well to help the team.

Rotation Three – Beam, 49.225
After a rocky beam last week, the Gym Devils bounced back in a huge way. Scharf scored a career-high 9.925 in the anchor spot, the best beam score by an ASU gymnast since 2019. Freshman Clark earned a 9.900 to spark the team after a fall on the previous Sun Devil. Thompson and Reeves both earned 9.850s, a career high for Thompson.

Rotation Four – Floor, 49.050
With the meet still up for grabs, the Sun Devils were clutch in the final rotation. Scharf's career-high 9.900 was the highlight, as well as a strong 9.850 from Boyer. Clark clinched the win with a 9.800 in the anchor spot.

Up Next
The Gym Devils will compete next weekend. Stay tuned to our social channels and for updates.