Leonard-Baker & Freshmen Vital In Filling Arizona State's 2020 Lineups

The NCAA women’s gymnastics is just days away, and the No. 21 Arizona State Sun Devils are beginning their 2020 season at the California Grand Invitational and Collegiate Challenge.

Collegiate challenge sessions will stream live here on FloGymnastics.

Arizona State Sun Devils

2019 Record: 10-8
2019 Final Ranking: No. 25
2019 Preseason Ranking: No. 20
2020 Preseason Ranking: No. 21
Gymnasts lost: Corrinne Belkoff, Justine Callis, Mekayla Jones, Anne Kuhm, Katelyn Lentz, Kaitlyn Szafranski, Stephanie Tripodi, Heather Udowitch
Gymnasts gained: Juliette Boyer, Jordyn Jaslow, Alina Miller, Isabel Redmond, Gracie Reeves, Hannah Scharf, Megan Thompson

Although the Sun Devils just finished in the top 25 for the 2019 season, it was definitely a successful season for the program as they have been on the rise since hiring Jay Santos as head coach a few years ago. However, they’ll have a lot of work to do this season as they lost eight gymnasts from last season’s roster and 14 routines that consistently appeared in lineups.

Corinne Belkoff, Anne Kuhm, and Kaitlyn Szafranski were the first half of Arizona State’s vault lineup, so half of its vaults have been lost to graduation. Luckily, its three best vaults haven’t gone anywhere as Jessica Ginn, Cairo Leonard-Baker, and Morgan Wilson are still on the team.

Gracie Zaugg had a few appearances in the vault lineup last season as a junior, so she’s sure to be a contender for a more permanent spot, but her highest score was a 9.750. Sophomore Jasmine Gutierrez also vaulted a few times in 2019 but didn’t produce scores high enough to be competitive. Both will need to continue working on their Yurchenko fulls to have the best chance at contributing for their team more often.

As for the freshman class, all have solid vaults, but Gracie Reeves is one of its strongest vaulters with a nice Yurchenko full that scored in the 9.600-9.700 range in J.O.

Arizona State also lost three bar routines from last season from Justine Callis, Kuhm, and Szafranski. Its bar lineup last season was solid, and Callis and Kuhm were capable of scoring in the 9.800 range, while Szafranski consistently scored in the 9.700 range. Hart earned a 9.900 on the event at Pac-12 Championships.

Bars was one of the strongest events in J.O. for freshmen Juliette Boyer, Isabel Redmond, and Gracie Reeves. Boyer placed in the top 10 at 2019 J.O. Nationals with a 9.675, finished in the top 10 at the Region 1 Championships with a 9.500, and was fourth with a 9.550 at the 2019 NorCal State Championships. Redmond finished in the top five on the event at the 2019 Region 5 Championships with a score of 9.600. Reeves earned a 9.625 on the apparatus at 2019 J.O. Nationals, was the silver medalist at the 2019 Region 1 Championships, and is the reigning Arizona state champion. 

Senior Jessica Ginn competed bars twice early last season but needs to fine-tune her routine to solidify a spot in the lineup since her scores were only in the mid- to high-9.600 range.

Three more losses come to the Sun Devils on beam where they’re looking to fill a big hole left by Callis, last year's beam queen and anchor. Callis not only hit all 13 of her beam routines last season but scored no lower than a 9.800. Plus, she earned two 9.900+ scores, including a 9.925 at UCLA in January. In addition, Kuhm and Heather Udowitch were both solid contributors capable of hitting a 9.800 routine.

Gutierrez competed on beam a few times in the second half of last season but had inconsistent scores, ranging from 9.025 to 9.850. Her 9.850 proves she has what it takes to make Arizona State’s beam lineup. She just needs to work on consistency and find what she needs to do in order to always hit.

Freshman Jordyn Jaslow has potential as she earned some great scores on beam during her J.O. career. At the 2018 Valley of the Sun Challenge, she scored a big 9.800, and she won beam at the 2018 Colorado State Championships. Reeves also scored high on beam in J.O. and earned a 9.800 at the 2018 Arizona Sunrays Classic Rock Invitational. Plus, she was the silver medalist on beam at the 2019 Region 1 Championships. Another freshman to watch on beam is Hannah Scharf, a former Canadian elite gymnast who competed at the preseason exhibition meet with style and poise.

Floor is where the Sun Devils see the biggest impact from the graduation of the Class of 2019. Ginn and Leonard-Baker are the only gymnasts who consistently competed floor last year and are still on this year’s roster. So the freshmen will surely be in consideration for the floor lineup.

Jaslow is the reigning Colorado state floor champion, made the top five on floor at the 2019 Region 3 Championships, and was in the top 15 at 2019 J.O. Nationals. Reeves won bronze on floor at the 2019 Region 1 Championships and was fourth at the 2019 Arizona State Championship. Boyer made top 15 at the Region 1 Championships and top five at the Region 1 Championships last year.

In addition, sophomore transfer Megan Thompson didn’t compete for Nebraska last year but has done pretty well on floor in the past as a club gymnast. Thompson finished in the top 10 on the event at the 2018 Region 1 Championships.

And at the core of Arizona State’s roster this year is its all-around star and All-American, Leonard-Baker. The junior gymnast can hit a great routine for her team on every event and has great power that is put to good use on vault and floor. She’s capable of scoring 9.850+ on every event and earned multiple 9.900s on floor last season.

However, her best event is uneven bars. Last season she earned a 9.900+ on the apparatus a whopping nine out of 14 times — one of which was a 9.900 at nationals. She has yet to reach perfection, but she did earn a 9.975 last season at UCLA.

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