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BYU, SUU and Utah State's gymnastics conference officially recognized by the NCAA

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Aug. 21 2014 3:42 p.m. MDT

Updated: Thursday, Aug. 21 2014 3:42 p.m. MDT

After a year of unofficial competition, the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference has been officially sanctioned by the NCAA, effective Sept. 1. Utah State joins Boise State, BYU, Denver and Southern Utah in the new conference.

The Aggies will be well-represented among the direction of the MRGC, as Dr. Brian Evans, USU's senior associate athletic director for Student-Athlete Services, will serve as the conference commissioner. Utah State head coach Nadalie Walsh will represent the league on the official NCAA gymnastics board.

Joining Evans on the conference staff are SUU's Kyle Cottam as president and media relations director, DU's Cynthia Rail as the compliance officer and BYU's Janie Rasmussen as the senior woman administrator.

"As a program, we are so excited to be joining the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference," Walsh said. "We are looking forward to the level of competition and high ranks of our competitors in the MRGC. I'm just glad the NCAA decided to reward our efforts in creating the league."

MRGC competitors had a solid showing in the 2014 season with each team competing at the NCAA Regional Championships and finishing in the top 36 of the Troester/Gym Info rankings. The Pac-12 is the only other conference to have had all its members finish in the top 36 in 2014. Each MRGC program finished the year within one point of each other among their regional qualifying scores. Overall, the Aggies went 3-7 against league members last season.

The 2015 regular season will conclude with the inaugural MRGC Championship, hosted by Denver on March 21. The teams all met last season in a season-ending meet at BYU, where each team finished within a single point of one another. The Aggies have a long history of competition against the four other MRGC programs, as they are in-state or former conference rivals.

Doug Hoffman is the associate athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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