MICHELLE BODKIN

Red Rocks Seniors Big Part of 2022 Success

Apr 13, 2022, 5:37 PM | Updated: 5:37 pm
(Photo courtesy University of Utah)...
(Photo courtesy University of Utah)
(Photo courtesy University of Utah)

FORT WORTH- As the Red Rocks prepare for their Thursday afternoon matchup that will determine whether they compete Saturday for a national title, it’s hard not to remember this will be the last time four remarkable women will wear a Utah leo. Super seniors Sydney Soloski and Alexia Burch, along with true seniors Cammy Hall and Adrienne Randall will be taking their final salutes over the next day or two for the Red Rocks. Head coach Tom Farden and the ladies were all reflective before Monday’s final practice at the Dumke Center of what their time in the program has meant.

From A Coach’s Perspective

Farden was all smiles when asked about what the exiting senior class have brought to the Red Rocks, including Cristal Isa despite her earlier announcement that she will be returning for a super senior year.

“One, you have Sydney Soloski and Alexia Burch,” Farden said. “What they have meant to our program- the number one thing they have bought through these five years is obviously dedication and hard work, but an understanding and appreciation of the history of our program. Then, more importantly, keeping our culture the way it is and alive, and well, and strong. Both of them are huge contributors to that. Not only with their leadership and work ethic, but just the way they communicate and they tie the team together. That’s been huge.”

“Cris, Cammy, and Adrienne are our true seniors and those three have come in and just done a remarkable job of being huge personalities for the team,” Farden continued. “Those three, even though they are all different in their own personalities, but have brought as a class that ‘lightness’, that ability to have fun and that ability to energize the whole team from within. Those types of contributions- they are unsung sometimes because you don’t realize- I realize their gymnastics has spoke all year, but you don’t realize what they have done on the backside of things. The things they can create- the spontaneity of the spirit they bring to our program. That has been remarkable.”

Sydney Soloski, A Perfect 10

Dubbed the “floor queen” of Utah gymnastics, Soloski has been a spark for the Red Rocks in their floor line-up for years. As an anchor on the event, Soloski has added spice and power with not only her tumbling, but her dancing as well. There is no doubt Red Rock fans everywhere will be pulling for the super senior to finally get her perfect ten while helping the Red Rocks try to secure a national title. Soloski, however says that’s not quite where her head is at.

” I know the result will come, so I don’t want to put that much expectation on myself,” Soloski said. “I’m very pleased with how my career has gone. I don’t think I’m going into this really chasing anything in particular if that makes sense.”

Alexia Burch, Miss Dependable

When the Red Rocks have needed a big score on vault, bars, or beam over the past five years it has always felt like Burch has been ready to step up to the plate. Burch has been in and out of this year’s lineups due to the incredible depth Utah has been able to play with, but down the stretch she has put together a strong final impression that Red Rocks fans will remember for time to come. In a program with such a long and proud tradition of strong gymnasts, Burch feels a sense of pride being part of that sisterhood.

“There is definitely a pressure, but for me, it’s a different kind of pressure,” Burch said. “It’s more of an honor. You get to be on a team that has banners hanging across an entire side of the gym. It’s almost a good pressure to be a part of a team like that.”

Adrienne Randall, In The Clutch

Randall says she performs best when she’s thrown into a lineup last minute, and based off of her performance in the regional semi-finals being put into the beam lineup it’s hard not to agree. Known as the hardest event to be elite at, beam is not for the faint of heart on a good day, but on a day where you didn’t think you were even going to compete? That is impressive and it certainly helped the Red Rocks advance in regional competition.

“I feel like I do better when I’m in those situations,” Randall said. “I just know that I prepared really my entire life to do these skills and these routines. It sits in the back of my mind they trust me enough to go out there in those really difficult situations. I think that gives me a lot more confidence. High pressure is always the move for me.”

Cammy Hall, Everyone’s Biggest Fan

Hall can let the vaults rip and she’s certainly had many great ones through her career at Utah. However, it’s her cheery spirit and high energy when big routines are hit by her or her teammates that really stands out. Always the first to greet her teammates after their routines, Hall is the epitome of a good leader and teammate. It’s those kinds of qualities she has tried to instill in the Red Rock’s up-and-coming talent.

“Honestly, I tell them to enjoy the moment and not think about the future too much because that’s what I did as a gymnast,” Hall said. “I was injured my freshman year and forced to enjoy each moment and not take anything for granted because it could all change in a minute. I try to make sure that they know that I’m proud of them. I’m proud of of how far they’ve come and how they’ve adapted.”

How To Watch

The Red Rocks will be competing Thursday at 1 p.m. ET (11 a.m. MT) on ESPN2 against Oklahoma, Alabama and Minnesota in the day session. The top two teams from each semi-final will advance to Saturday’s final meet at 1 p.m. ET (11 a.m. MT) on ABC.

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Red Rocks Seniors Big Part of 2022 Success