Sophomore Adrienne Randall’s rise has played a big role in Utah gymnastics team’s unbeaten season
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Adrienne Randall on the beam as the University of Utah hosts Arizona State, NCAA gymnastics in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020.
Staying on a 4-inch wide apparatus while you flip and turn seems like a complicated feat. But Utah gymnast Adrienne Randall has a tactic for making success on the beam seem extremely simple.
“I just go through the motions in my head and try not to think about it too much,” she said.
Evidently, success is as clear as that, for the Utah sophomore has been posting some consistently strong scores to help the Utes enjoy one of their best seasons ever on the beam.
In the past four meets, Randall has scored two 9.95s, a 9.925 and a 9.975.
Her efforts have prompted coach Tom Farden to call Randall one of the team’s most improved gymnasts. That is saying a lot considering Randall had a strong freshman season in which she hit 27 of 27 routines and earned one win on the beam and two on the floor.
Farden said her success has come more in consistency than simply ramping up her gymnastics.
“She had a lot more peaks and valleys in her freshman year,” he said. “There are a lot of rigors in going 14 or 15 weeks of gymnastics like we do and she is handling that a lot better.”
Randall is ranked 15th nationally on the beam, averaging 9.915. She is known for a move called the Rulfova, which is a full twisting swing down to a cross straddle sit on the beam. (If that is too fancy a description, it’s the move that makes people gasp and collectively draw their legs together as she lands on the beam).
That move is the one that caught Farden’s eye when he was out on the road recruiting and decided to go after the Corona, Calif., native.
“I was walking by the beam and was like, ‘who is that?’” he recalled. “It stopped me in my tracks.”
Now she is part of a lineup of what Farden calls “natural beamers,” gymnasts who naturally excel on the apparatus. She attributes her affinity for the event to her club days when her coaches instilled a fondness for the beam.
“I feel like a lot of people think of it as being scary but it comes naturally for me,” she said. “I like being able to do the more difficult things and do them well.”
Although she has gained a reputation for being an excellent beam worker, Randall also is having a strong year on the floor, where she has earned 9.825 or higher on the event this season, including a season best of 9.9 against UCLA.
Farden said the Utes are being smarter about her routine, finding a composition that suits her better than the routine of a year ago. Her 9.875 at Washington got the team back on track after teammate Jillian Hoffman fell.
“That was a brilliant routine and we just built from there,” Farden said.
Still, it’s her beam work that people recognize her skills as a gymnast the most. It seems it won’t be any other way.
“Being a part of this year’s beam team is very exciting,” she said. “To have such high scores on that event and make records is awesome.”
NO. 4 UTAH VS. STANFORD
At the Huntsman Center
When • Friday, 7 p.m.
TV • Pac-12 Networks
Radio • 700 AM
Records • Utah (10-0, 6-0; Stanford (3-11, 0-6)
Series • Utah leads 36-6
Last meeting • Utah won, 197.125-195.8, Feb. 18, 2019
Of note • Stanford’s season high is a 196.25. … Kyla Bryant is Stanford’s top all-arounder with a season high of 39.425. … Utah has won the last 15 matchups. … Utah’s beam team won its event in three of its most recent road meets at Cal, UCLA and Washington. … Utah has hit 182 of 192 with Maile O’Keefe leading the team, hitting 27 for 27. … Kim Tessen is ranked No. 1 in the Pac-12 on the vault with a 9.9 average. … The meet is a shoe drive for Soles4Souls and fans are encouraged to bring shoes to donate and are encouraged to donate cookbooks, measuring cups and hand towels for the Pac12 Zero Waste Challenge.