Jada Mangahas kneels on the floor and shows the forks up hand sign.

LIVE BLOG: Arizona State Maroon and Gold Scrimmage

Tonight it is Arizona State’s turn to preview its team for the upcoming season. It may only be watchable on Instagram Live, but it’s still watchable, meaning we’ve got a live blog! I’m looking forward to seeing what Jay Santos and company have in store for this season. ASU finished ranked No. 9 a few seasons ago, but since then, it’s been fighting to stay relevant in both the national conversation and the incredibly deep Pac-12 conference. 

This year, the Sun Devils have a host of new assistant coaches and a heavy mix of talented gymnasts with limited experience and seasoned veterans. I attended ASU’s open practice intrasquad back on Nov. 19, so I’m curious to see how some of their routines have developed since then. Most notably for me, they showed seven vaults, five of which were 10.0 start values. This is a stark difference from lineups I’ve seen in the past couple of years that have had a maximum of two.

I also look forward to seeing more from the freshman and sophomore classes, as they both make up a large part of ASU’s roster this season. We didn’t really see any freshmen aside from Kayla Lee last season. I’m curious to see how the now-sophomores respond to competing in Desert Financial for the first time this season. Lastly, Hannah Scharf didn’t “compete” in that open practice, meaning this will be the first look at her in a competitive setting for her fifth year.

The teams are below. McClaine Daigle is not listed as being a part of either team.

Maroon Team: Cienna Samiley, Skye Harper, Gracie Reeves, Jada Mangahas, Sarah Clark, Caroline Lichtman, Halle Gregoire, Chloe Seaga, Chavala Shepard (boot)

Gold Team: Emily White, Kimberly Smith, Hannah Scharf, Kayla Lee, Anaya Smith, Cassi Barbanente, Lilia Purler, Isabella Kowan (boot), Alex Theodorou

They just did introductions a moment ago for the team. Earlier today, Mangahas and Scharf were named to the Pac-12 Preseason Watch List, creating more anticipation for their routines tonight.

Rotation 1: Maroon Vault, Gold Bars

Lichtman (M): Yurchenko full. Lots of leg separation. 9.650

Theodorou (G): Straddled Jaeger. Bail to handstand hits 180. a little short going up to the high bar. nearly falls forward on her dismount. 9.575

Samiley (M): Couldn’t see Samiley’s vault on the live. A couple of coaches I believe blocked the view. 9.300

K. Smith (G): First handstand short. Jaeger to bail. Double layout dismount almost stuck, just moves her feet a tiny bit. 9.650

Clark (M): I missed another vault, this time because of the wifi connection. 9.200

Barbanente (G): Piked Jaeger. handstands all seem a bit short. Double layout dismount with a hop backward. Arguably the strongest bars routine thus far for the Gold team. 9.750

Gregoire (M): Yurchenko 1.5. This is a different vault from her than the one I saw in November. Takes a step sideways on the landing, but decently controlled overall. 9.800

White (G): I missed the beginning of the routine. Strong handstands throughout. Double layout dismount, she tried to fight for the stick but ended up taking a step forward. 9.775

Mangahas (M): Yurchenko full. Good distance off the table, but her chest was a little low on the landing. I couldn’t see where her feet were because somebody blocked the view. 9.775

Reeves (M): Tucked Yurchenko 1.5. Good height and distance. Tuck was a little messy, but she stuck the vault. 9.875

After 1: Maroon 39.100, Gold 38.750

Some of the angles aren’t the greatest for seeing both events, but I’m trying to make do. The bars rotation seemed to need a little time to settle in. I’m upset that I couldn’t see Clark’s vault, as she was one of the new 10.0 start value vaults that was added this offseason. Overall, it could have been a stronger rotation for both sides, but not too far off from where I’ve seen ASU at the beginning of the season in past years in most cases.

Rotation 2: Maroon Bars, Gold Vault

White (G): Yurchenko full. Good height and distance. Couldn’t see the feet on the landing. Overall, as good of a vault as you would expect from her. 9.825

Reeves (M): Starddled Jaeger to bail. High bar handstand a little short. Double layout dismount, legs separated and takes a step back on the landing. 9.700

Purler (G): Yurchenko half on, front tuck. Steps forward on the landing. Solid vault overall. Also a nice break from Yurchnko fulls. 9.800

Samiley (M): Starddled Jaeger to bail. Double layout dismount steps back on the landing. Solid handstands. 9.700

Scharf (G): Yuerchenko full. Great block. Beautiful form. Stuck landing. Similar to White, her vault looks pretty much ready to go for the season. 9.875

Mangahas (M): Piked Jaeger to bail. Back on the high bar, handstands look good. Full-twisting double tuck for the dismount. Solid routine for Maroon. 9.775

A. Smith (G): Yurchenko 1.5. Stuck. Lots of power. Did a good job keeping the legs together. On par with White and Scharf. 9.925

Clark (M): Starddled Jaeger. Pak Salto. Gorgeous handstands. Double layout with legs together. Stuck. Beautiful lines on bars. Great routine. Holding her spot as one of ASU’s best on bars. 9.875

After 2: Maroon 78.150, Gold 78.175

Gold was able to jump in front here, as this rotation was significantly better for both teams. A lot more of these routines and vaults look competition-ready for ASU. Smith and Clark got to show out on their best events, respectively. Both sides just looked a lot more comfortable in this second rotation.

Rotation 3: Maroon Beam, Gold Floor

Reeves (M): BHS BHS LOSO, immediately falls off the beam after the layout. Switch leap, split jump, good 180. Front aerial, tries to save it and falls again. RO tucked 1.5 dismount with a decent landing. 8.400

Purler (G): Double pike on the opening pass, takes a couple steps out of it. FHS, front layout, front full done nicely. Nice jumps. Great energy. Back 1.5 to front layout. Not a bad routine for the freshman in her first time at DFA. 9.675

Samiley (M): Front aerial to back tuck. Split jump, stag jump. Gorgeous toe point. Piked gainer dismount. Stuck. Another solid routine. 9.750

K. Smith (G): There was a delay from the judges conferring about Purler’s routine I believe. Double pike, great landing. FHS, front full, front layout, nicely controlled. Tour Jete half, straddle full. Double tuck, lands with chest low and takes a sizeable step forward. Very well-done routine up until the slight mishap at the end. 9.775

Lichtman (M): BHS LOSO. Straddle 1/4. Split 1/2. Front aerial. RO 1.5 dismount with a small step forward. She seemed a little hesitant during the routine and took her time for the most part, but not a bad routine. 9.700

White (G): Lady Gaga floor music. FHS 2/1 in opening pass. Solid leaps. Back 1.5 to front full to end. Very quick routine compared to the others. 9.850

Harper (M): Front toss to BHS, maybe a little slow on the connection. Switch half leap, not quite 180. BHS to gainer full dismount. 9.800

Scharf (G): Judges are taking a minute again. Punch front through to double tuck. FHS, front full, front tuck. Great leaps. Double Pike in her final pass. Ends with the “forks up.” Very clean routine. 9.875

Mangahas (M): Front aerial to BHS. Switch leap, split half, beat jump. Front Pike. Piked gainer dismount stuck. That was a great way to set the tone for herself on beam this season. 9.875

Clark (M): BHS BHS LOSO. Super floaty BHS. Split jump, stag jump. Great form. Front aerial. Aerial full for the dismount, took a step back on the landing. Gorgeous lines throughout the routine. 9.675

After 3: Maroon 117.275, Gold 117.350

The two teams are still pretty close. Once again, both sides seemed to settle in a bit more as the rotation went along. On floor, there was good energy throughout, just maybe not as much endurance as one would like. I was really impressed by Mangahas on beam, especially since I hadn’t seen her compete on that event before.

Rotation 4: Maroon Floor, Gold Beam

K. Smith (G): Beat jump to side aerial. BHS LOSO, great toe point. Switch leap to straddle 1/4. RO 1.5 dismount, big hop forward. A couple of really small wobbles here and there, but a nice start to the rotation. 9.750

Lichtman (M): Double pike, front foot scooted forward just a bit on the landing. Front whip, front full. Switch half leap. Back 1.5 to front full to end the routine. For someone who didn’t compete at all last season, she has been pretty alright in this preview. 9.425

Purler (G): BHS LOSO and falls off. Side aerial to two feet, huge balance check but stays on. Decent leap series. Front full dismount. 9.050

Reeves (M): Back 2.5 on the opening pass, a little out of control. Back whip half to front full, also not quite completely controlled on the landing. FHS front 1.5. I like the variety in the tumbling passes, just not all the way cleaned up with a few weeks to go before the season starts. 9.525

Scharf (G): Double wolf turn, small wobble. BHS LOSO, lots of air on the layout. Side somi, another wobble. Switch leap, split jump, nice 180 splits. RO 1.5 dismount, big step forward. Not as clean as she had been on the other events, but still a decent routine. 9.825

Clark (M): Double pike, slides that front foot back just a bit on the landing. Back 1.5 to front full a little crooked. Short of 180 on leaps. Double tuck for the final pass, underrotates it and lands on all fours. 8.900

White (G): BHS LOSO, front aerial to beat jump. Split jump, stag jump, beautiful. BHS 1.5 dismount stuck. Great routine. 9.950

Gregoire (M): Full in for the first pass. Split jumps short of 180. FHS 1.5 LOSO. More variation in tumbling passes. Didn’t have great control, but so much power. 9.750

Magahas (M): Awesome energy in this routine. Full in, super low chest and stumbles forward. Front tuck through to double tuck with a spot. Good height on jumps. 9.675

Final: Maroon 155.650, Gold 155.925

VT: Anaya Smith, 9.925
UB: Sarah Clark, 9.875
BB: Emily White, 9.950
FX: Hannah Scharf, 9.875
AA: Emily White, 39.400

There was a lot of good and bad for ASU tonight in its intrasquad. There were a few other gymnasts who participated in November that didn’t tonight for whatever reason. The vast majority of those returning to lineups look ready to go. There were even a pair of 9.900-plus scores. Some of the newer routines seemed a bit shaky, but there’s still time for the Sun Devils to clean up some details before their season opener. For the first time in a long time, Scharf did not compete in the all-around, possibly signaling the depth that the incoming freshman can add when routines are cleaned up. Overall it wasn’t a bad night for ASU, but definitely showed that they have a ways to go before being completely ready for the season.

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Live blog by Tia Reid

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