NCAA Regionals This Weekend For No. 11 Gym Devils
TEMPE, Ariz. – For the third postseason in a row, No. 11 Sun Devil Gymnastics is heading to NCAA Regionals, set to compete in the Salt Lake City Regional beginning on April 2 in the first session of the second round.
NCAA Regionals Information
- 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.
- Arizona State has seen three teams competing in this regional. ASU beat Arizona twice in the regular season as well as earned a higher finish at Pac-12s. Arizona State also came within .300 in losses to Utah and Boise State, both of whom are in the same second round session as the Sun Devils.
- The meets at the Salt Lake City Regional will be held in the Maverik Center, the same site where the 2021 Pac-12 Championships were held. Unlike the conference championships, it will not be held on podium, per the NCAA regulations.
- 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.
Sun Devil Outlook
No. 11 Arizona State (5-5)
- 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.
- The Sun Devils will start on bars, their best event this season. They have scored a 49.000-plus for 15 meets in a row, dating back to last season.
- 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.
- Arizona State picked up numerous postseason awards last week. Sophomore Hannah Scharf was named a WCGA Regular Season Second Team All-American in addition to being put on the All-Pac-12 First Team in the all-around and honorable mention on vault and floor. Freshman Anaya Smith was All-Pac-12 First Team on vault and senior Cairo Leonard-Baker was honorable mention on bars.
- Leonard-Baker had led this program to a consistent postseason presence and looks to make some noise in her final appearance. 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 finished the season ranked No. 16 in the nation in the all-around. She is the second All-American Gym Devil head coach Jay Santos has coached after Leonard-Baker. She also is the first Sun Devil since Ashley Kelly to earn all-conference honors in three events in one season. Throughout the season, she has scored a 9.900 or better 10 times.
- 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.
How to Watch
All three days of regionals will be televised on ESPN3. Bart Conner and Kathy Johnson Clarke will serve as the Salt Lake City NCAA Regional commentators. Additionally, ESPN 700 radio will broadcast the sessions Utah competes in. Tickets can be purchased for all four sessions here.