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Gym Devil escapes permanent dismount with a fifth year

With unfinished business on the line, Gracie Reeves will remain on the gymnastics team for a fifth and final year

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Then ASU senior all around gymnast Gracie Reeves performs on the floor at Desert Financial Arena on Friday Jan. 20, 2023. ASU lost to Stanford 196.225-196.050.

Graduate student Gracie Reeves is competing in another season with the Gym Devils, returning to the team for her fifth and final year.

The program broke the news back in August, months after the senior's final season ended. Even though the decision came late, Reeves knew that her time with the team wasn’t over yet.   

"At the end of last season, me and my team felt like we had unfinished business, and I just knew in my heart that I couldn’t leave on that note," Reeves said. "I wanted to give my team and me one more opportunity to accomplish the biggest goals we can."

The "unfinished business" Reeves is referring to is the team’s final competition at the NCAA Regionals. 

"Last year, we came really close to making it to Nationals. At Regionals, we were so close, Reeves said. "I just felt the passion in the team, like we were all just tearing up because we wanted it so bad, and I know we’re gonna have that feeling while we’re training. I want to make it to Nationals with this team."    

Others on the team can feel her passion for this goal as well. 

"She really is one who will hype us up in the groupchat before every meet, reminding us of our goals. (She'll) text us and be like, 'We're going to Nationals guys, like this is what it’s all for!' and she's just very good at reminding us about that,"  senior Sarah Clark said. 

Reeves is extending her time with a team that continues to capitalize on their potential. The Gym Devils finished last season ranked in the top-25, ending at spot No. 15. While their journey ended at the NCAA Regional Finals, the season was marked by a few big victories, most notably against Utah at home and Washington on the road. 

Returning for another year due to extended eligibility from COVID-19, Reeves will be the second fifth-year to compete with the team this season. All-around Hannah Scharf will also be a fifth-year, and she’s ecstatic to share another season with Reeves. 

"I was very excited, of course. We were roommates for four years, and we’ve been through a lot of ups and downs," Scharf said. "I was just really glad that she made a decision that she felt was best for her."  

Reeves competed in all four events throughout last season, earning a season high on bars with a 9.875. She's competed in meets every season she’s been with the team, dating back to her 2020 freshman season.  This experience has catapulted her into a leadership position. 

"Hannah and Gracie have always been leaders, since I was a freshman," Clark said. "My class is really big – there’s seven of us. I know since we’re seniors we've taken on the role of being leaders ourselves. I think it’s a great balance because we take on some roles, and (the fifth-years) take on other roles, and since they're the oldest people on the team, they can throw in wise words and encouragement."

Scharf also thinks Reeves’s passion and heart will help the team. 

"She’s always checking in on everybody, making everybody laugh. The energy that she brings into the gym is definitely really beneficial to the team," Scharf said. 

Reeves just wants to take it all in. 

"I am excited to just enjoy every meet with my teammates. I mean, this group of girls are my best friends," Reeves said. "We have such a strong connection, and I just really wanna take in my teammates and the Sun Devil fans."

Edited by Alfred Smith III, Sadie Buggle and Caera Learmonth.

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