No. 11 Gym Devils Selected to Salt Lake City NCAA Regional
TEMPE, Ariz. – No. 11 Sun Devil Gymnastics will compete in the Salt Lake City Regional beginning on April 2 in the opening weekend of the NCAA postseason on the road to the championships.
The Gym Devils earned an 11 seed and are part of the first session in the second round that also features No. 6 seed Utah, Boise State and Southern Utah. The second session includes No. 3 seed LSU, No. 14 seed Kentucky, Utah State, and the winner of the first round between Temple and Arizona. The top two teams from each session in the second round will compete on April 3. The meets will be held in the Maverik Center, the same site where the Pac-12 Championships were held last weekend.
The championship features 36 teams determined based on their national qualifying score. Regionals are held over multiple days. The first round will consist of two teams in a play-in meet, second round will consist of eight teams in two sessions and the regional final will consist of four teams. The top two teams, the top all-around competitors and the top event specialist on each event (who are not on an advancing team) from each regional will receive an automatic berth to the national championships on April 16-17 in Fort Worth, Texas. More information can be found on the NCAA's website.
For the full bracket, head here. More information can be found on the NCAA's website. The website for the Salt Lake City Regional is here.
Headed to the mountains! ??
The No. 11 Gym Devils will compete in the first session of the Salt Lake City Regional on April 2! ?? pic.twitter.com/b2AO6ck9Cs
— Sun Devil Gymnastics (@SunDevilGym) March 22, 2021
This will be the third-straight trip to NCAA Regionals for Arizona State after trips to Baton Rouge in 2019 and Penn State in 2018. The team also was a lock to qualify in 2020 before the postseason was canceled due to COVID-19.
Coming off of their highest finish at the Pac-12 Championship since 2006, the Gym Devils have put together a season for the record books. The team was ranked as high as No. 7, its first time in the top 10 since 2006. ASU has three team scores over 197.000, which has not been achieved in this program since 2004. Two of those scores are in the top 15 in the Sun Devil record book. Heading into regionals, the Gym Devils have surpassed 196.000 for eight-straight meets.
Senior Cairo Leonard-Baker had led this program to a consistent postseason presence and looks to make some noise in her final appearance. She has had 11 scores of 9.900 or better this season, more than any other Sun Devil. Because the majority of lineups are underclassmen and there was no postseason in 2020, Leonard-Baker is one of two to have competed in the postseason, the other being junior Jasmine Gutierrez. Leonard-Baker advanced to the NCAA Championships as an individual in 2018 (all-around) and 2019 (bars), earning Second Team All-America honors in 2019 after scoring a 9.900.
Sophomore Hannah Scharf has been a force for the Sun Devils in 2021. She has competed in the all-around in every meet, winning seven AA titles, five floor titles and two beam titles. Currently, she is No. 16 in the nation in the all-around. Joining her in the top-25 individual rankings is freshman Anaya Smith, who is ranked No. 24 on vault. She has had a stellar season on her only event she has competed, scoring a 9.900 or better five times and earning a 9.850 or better in all but one meet.
As a team, there have been 30 event titles and 38 scores of 9.900-plus. In addition to Leonard-Baker, Scharf and Smith, there have been three others notching a 9.900 or better. Both Emily White and Sarah Clark have reached that mark on bars and beam, while fellow freshman Jada Mangahas earned a 9.900 on floor. Sophomore Juliette Boyer scored a 9.925 on bars and 9.900 on floor.