Randall will compete at the NCAA's for the second time in three years (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- Cougar senior Scott Randall will be able to check off one of his goals on the year when he competes at the NCAA Championships being held in Minneapolis, Minnesota this weekend. The native and Mesa, Arizona qualified on both the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard for the second time in his career, a career that had its start in gymnastics.
"I was involved in gymnastics for six years," Randall said. "But, I got tired of it and I quit when I was thirteen. In the summer times I started to enroll in summer diving classes and I really enjoyed it."
His peers in the summer diving classes encouraged him to compete with clubs and he went on to compete at the high school level with Mountain View High School in Mesa, Arizona.
Randall was recruited by several schools coming out of high school, but knew that BYU was the right fit for him when he came down to deciding.
"BYU has always had a good diving history," he said. "Coach (Keith) Russell is one of the best coaches in the nation and I think religious preference played into my decision. I felt that BYU was the right place before my mission, but really knew it was where I wanted to be after my mission."
The senior took a two year break from diving and served an LDS church mission in Chile from 2001-2003. Many young men leave BYU to serve missions and then return to their schooling and to athletic competition. Randall said that he didn't really experience a pronounced learning curve upon returning home from Chile.
"It was a little hard coming back, but I think I was able to get back a little quicker than some other sports that may require greater conditioning," he said. "I felt really good while I was coming back."
In his first year after returning home from his mission Randall qualified for the NCAA Championships and now the senior returns for an encore performance.
"I thought Scott dove really well at qualifiers," Diving Coach Keith Russell said. "You have to dive well to beat some great divers from the PAC-10 and our conference."
Randall will be the lone diver representing the Mountain West Conference in Minneapolis. The diver qualified after an 8th place finish on the 1-meter with 538.15 points and 5th place finish on the 3-meter springboards with 518.45 points at the Zone E diving qualifiers held two weeks ago, competing against Mountain West Conference and PAC-10 schools along with Hawaii.
"I'm very excited to be going, it makes me pretty happy," Randall said. "This was one of my biggest goals this year to qualify for NCAA's and hopefully I'll do well enough to get in the finals or be named All-American. All I am focusing on is going out and having fun and I'll just do what I have to do."
Randall will take his first dive Thursday morning in the men's 1-M springboard competition. Then finish his part at the championships the following morning on the 3-m springboard. For complete day-by-day results to track Randall's success please visit www.ncaasports.com and follow the links to men's swimming and diving.