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Leonard-Baker, Scharf Qualify For NCAA Championships

Apr 4, 2021

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah - The season is not over for two Gym Devils. Due to their performances on Friday in the second round of NCAA Salt Lake City Regional, senior Cairo Leonard-Baker and sophomore Hannah Scharf will advance to the NCAA Championships as individuals on bars and in the all-around, respectively. 

This is the third postseason in a row that Arizona State has had an individual representative at the NCAA Championships, Leonard-Baker going each of the last two postseasons. Individual qualifiers are the top all-around competitors and the top event specialist on each event from each regional who are not on an advancing team. 

"We are very excited that Cairo and Hannah have the opportunity to compete at the NCAA National Championships," Arizona State Head Coach Jay Santos said. "Cairo has qualified in all three opportunities of her collegiate career and I fully expect her to contend for a national bars title. Hannah has been a rock this season and this opportunity will be an amazing experience for her to compete with the best in the NCAA. We are proud to have these two representing the Sun Devils at the highest level of the sport."

Leonard-Baker is heading back to nationals after scoring a 9.950 on Friday, tying for the regional title. She has been a rock on bars in her entire career and this season is no exception, earning All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention in that event. The senior from Oakland, California, is no stranger to nationals. In 2018, Leonard-Baker advanced as an all-around competitor. In 2019, she competed on bars and earned a Second Team All-America honor for her performance.

"I am excited, but it's not going to be the same without this team," Leonard-Baker said. "I know they're going to be watching and cheering us on. I'm excited to go and to go out there and do my thing for the last time."

Scharf earned her berth after scoring a solid 39.425 in the all-around on Friday. That performance was highlighted by a 9.925 on floor and a 9.900 on vault. She has been a strong force all season long, being named a WCGA Regular Season Second Team All-American in the all-around. She also was All-Pac-12 First Team in the all-around and honorable mention on vault and floor. This is the first postseason the sophomore Canadian has experienced as the 2020 season was cut short before the end of the regular season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I'm super excited for nationals, especially to be able to go with a veteran, Cairo," Scharf said. "I wish the entire team could be there, but I'm so honored to be able to represent ASU as an individual."

The NCAA Championships are on April 16-17 in Fort Worth, Texas. Leonard-Baker and Scharf will both compete in the first semifinal at noon CDT on April 16. The senior will compete on bars in the third rotation and the sophomore will start her meet on beam in the first rotation.