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Leonard-Baker Seals Win Over Wildcats on Senior Day

Mar 6, 2021

2020-21 Territorial Cup Series® Standings | Sun Devil Home Events in 2020-21 | Final Results

TEMPE, Ariz. - Senior Cairo Leonard-Baker celebrated senior day with a meet-clinching routine on floor to push No. 7 Sun Devil Gymnastics to their sixth-straight win over the Arizona Wildcats, 196.100 to 196.075, on Saturday in Desert Financial Arena.

Notable Stats

  • Arizona State (5-4) won the Territorial Cup point with this win over Arizona (2-6). ASU Head Coach Jay Santos has not lost to the Wildcats in his time with the Sun Devils. 
  • Senior Cairo Leonard-Baker ended her home career with a bang. She won the bars title with a 9.900, her second in a row. She also notched a 9.900 on floor to clinch the win. Anything less than her 9.900 would have tied or lost the meet. On vault, she added a solid 9.800. 
  • The floor squad put together a rotation for the ages after trailing heading onto the floor. It started with junior Jasmine Gutierrez making her collegiate debut on floor in the leadoff spot and scoring a 9.850. The back half of the lineup really brought it, all scoring a 9.900 or better. Hannah Scharf notched a 9.925 and Leonard-Baker and Mangahas added 9.900s. For Mangahas, that was a career high. 
  • The Gym Devils have scored over a 196.000 for five meets in a row, six overall. They also have continued streaks of 49.000 in three events: up to 13 on bars, six on floor and five on vault. 
  • Freshman Anaya Smith has scored at least a 9.900 on vault for the last four meets in a row. She won her fifth vault title of the season with a 9.900 today, her third win in a row. 
  • Sophomore Hannah Scharf won two event titles in the meet, including her fourth floor title (9.925) and her sixth all-around title of the season (38.850), her third meet in a row winning the all-around. She also contributed solid scores of 9.850 on vault and 9.800 on bars. She has not scored below a 9.800 on bars all season.
  • Freshman Emily White continued her strong beam performance. She led the team with a 9.850 and has scored at least a 9.825 in all but one meet this season.
  • Senior Maya Williams competed in an exhibition on beam and hit her routine to celebrate her four-year career with Arizona State. 

Arizona State Head Coach Jay Santos
"Obviously, the story is the floor and ending the meet. Thankfully, it's not how we started a little off with a not-so-great beginning and a mistake on beam putting us in a hole. They were fantastic on floor; we challenged them to bring some energy and really finish the meet as strong as they could to put some pressure on (Arizona) over on beam and they did that. I'm really proud of how we finished, and it just goes to show that you can never sleep on a rivalry meet against U of A."

On this senior class's impact
"Cairo is going to be a legacy gymnast for us. She is one of the most decorated gymnasts we've ever had. Right from the start as a freshman, she brought that fire and competitiveness. Cairo has been the rock we needed and sparked this turnaround as a freshman four years ago. We are going to be sad to see her go, so thankfully we have a few more meets to enjoy. Maya has brought so much positivity and worked so hard. She's had some ups and downs, but she always kept a great attitude and has been a great teammate. We are going to miss them."
On staying mentally focused for the rest of the season
"They've got to be sharp, focused, and they've got to bring that energy every week. We can't slide and have a bad week of preparation. This week was decent, it was a solid week, but you could see a couple things here and there. We weren't terrible on bars, but we weren't sharp. We didn't land great, and we opened the door. Then the big mistake got us on beam and put us in a hole. We have to prepare and be focused and sharp. This is not the time of year to be sliding in the wrong direction. We've been climbing and had a huge month in February where they did amazing things and we just have to get back to that next week and for Pac-12s."
On the reason for their winning streak
"We met a couple of really strong teams and as a young team we had a couple of jitters early on. Once some of these kids started to hit their stride and settle in a little bit more you could see that we have some strong lineups top to bottom. When they put each event together as a team, we are capable of doing some really big things and that's what we've seen the last four weeks. We got away from that a little bit in a couple spots today, but we have put some strong team performances together. Hitting our stride is really what did it."  

Senior Cairo Leonard-Baker
On scoring a 9.900 at final home meet of career
"Honestly it hasn't even hit me yet that this was my last meet in (DFA). I feel like it won't actually hit me until I do my very last routine and I'll be like, 'Oh wait I took that for granted,' but it was so great, and I got to do it with the best people ever. I love this team. I didn't know that we needed a 9.900 to win, I thought we were winning with Hannah's score, so I was just happy to go out there and just do my last routine in here."
On what the senior ceremony meant for her and what her legacy will be with Sun Devil Gymnastics
"It means everything to me. From all the gymnastics I did in club to coming here was so different, and it is a legacy we are still building every single day. It feels so good that future Sun Devils can say, 'I'm going to a top 7 team in the nation,' and I was a part of getting us there."
On her message to the team after a close win
"It was just that we are that good. We can come back after a fall and still win the meet. We have the power to change the way the meet is going, and we did that. Jay was telling us after that now we have to make the decision if we want to win the meet and go all out on floor, and we did that. We weren't even thinking about Arizona, we were thinking about how we wanted to end this meet."

Final Results

  1. Arizona State, 196.100
  2. Arizona, 196.075

Rotation One: Vault, 49.075
The Gym Devils led after the first rotation with a 49.075, the fifth week in a row above a 49.000. Smith anchored the lineup with a 9.900, making it her fourth meet in a row scoring at least a 9.900 on vault. Scarf had the next highest score with a 9.850, followed by a 9.800 by Leonard-Baker.

Rotation Two: Bars, 49.200
The Sun Devils stayed strong, scoring a 49.200 in their next rotation. Leonard-Baker led with a 9.900, her fifth meet in a row scoring a 9.900 or better. Freshman Sarah Clark earned a 9.875, and sophomores Juliette Boyer and Scharf scored a 9.850.

Rotation Three: Beam, 48,425
The Sun Devils had to count two falls on beam, allowing the Wildcats to take the .325 lead in the meet after the third rotation. The bright spot on beam was White with a 9.850, her seventh meet in a row meet in a row surpassing 9.800 in the event. Gutierrez also scored above a 9.800 with a 9.825.

Rotation Four: Floor, 49.400
The Gym Devils earned a score of 49.400, tying their season high, to make up ground to win the meet. The leading scorer was Scharf with a 9.920, winning her the event title. Two Sun Devils scored a 9.900, including Jada Mangahas, her personal best, and Leonard-Baker. For her first time on floor this year, Gutierrez scored a 9.850, and Boyer earned a 9.825.

Up Next
Arizona State will compete on the road next weekend at Boise State on Friday, March 12. The start time has yet to be determined.