COLUMBIA — Entering her junior season, Adrianne Perry was already one of the most decorated Missouri gymnasts in program history. Freshman year, Perry was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and qualified for NCAA Nationals. Her success continued into her sophomore year, when she made Nationals again and recorded three of the top ten all-around scores in Tiger history.
Perry has continued to add to her decoration this year. The past month, Perry has been carrying the MU gymnastics team, holding at least a share of the all-around titles in the last four meets.
During her streak, she has defeated some of the top gymnasts in the country, including top ten-ranked Kiara Redmond-Sturms of Oklahoma and Lindsey Bruck of Michigan. Missouri coach Rob Drass isn’t shy when addressing how Perry compares to other gymnasts.
“I think once she gets rolling, she is as formidable as anyone in the country,” Drass said. “She can hold her own against the best of the best.”
On Saturday, Perry will lead the No. 16 Tigers to Corvallis, Ore., to compete in the Salbasgeon Suites Invitational featuring No. 8 Oregon State, No. 19 Boise State and Sacramento State. The meet starts at 6:00 p.m. Saturday at Gill Coliseum.
This weekend, Perry, who currently ranks 14th in the nation in the all-around, faces another tough test this weekend in Oregon State’s Jami Lanz, currently ranked sixth in the country in the all-around.
When Perry goes for her fifth consecutive all-around title, she won’t be thinking about her streak.
“I don’t think too much into it, my thing is always trying to be consistent,” Perry said. “One meet, I didn’t win any event titles. I just had a consistent, good meet. I don’t try to think too much about winning, because that often messes me up.”
For some gymnasts, remaining motivated throughout the season can be difficult, but it’s not an issue for Perry.
“As the season progresses, bigger meets happen toward the end of the season,” Perry said. “I think I just naturally keep up that intensity in the gym and the meets are more important, so at the meets there is more intensity as well.”
For Drass, Perry’s consistent scores allow him to focus on helping the other gymnasts.
“She does an outstanding job and is very confident in what she does,” Drass said. “She is very reliable and it’s a pleasure to have someone like that. It makes coaching a lot easier because you don’t have to worry if she is going to be on or not.”
The Tiger coaching staff’s motto this season has been “24 of 24”, meaning everyone in the lineup performs their routine without falling.
“We’ve hit 24 of 24 this year, but we haven’t been perfect on them,” Drass said. “It’s like asking someone ‘don’t just get an A on a test, but get a 100.’”
Many of the MU gymnasts have not been to Oregon and are excited to see a new part of the country, but they are equally as excited to see how they match up against the best competition in the country.
“It’s exciting to go against Oregon State,” senior Ashley Khederian said. “They’re a real strong team, second in the Pac-10, so it’s a good test of where we are against schools like that.”