Utah State’s gymnastics team is ranked No. 32 in the 2018 National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women (NACGC/W) Preseason Coaches’ Poll, it was announced Monday by the organization.
The Aggies finished the 2017 season ranked No. 32.
All four teams from the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference (MRGC) are ranked in the NACGC/W Preseason Coaches’ Poll. No. 13 Boise State leads the conference and is followed by Southern Utah at No. 24, USU at No. 32 and BYU at No. 34.
The Aggies return seven letterwinners — nine gymnasts overall — from the 2017 campaign and welcome nine newcomers, including eight freshmen, to this year’s team.
Under the direction of first-year head coach Amy Smith, Utah State opens the 2018 slate on the road at Bowling Green on Saturday, Jan. 13, marking the second-straight year the Aggies have begun on the road.
Utah State’s home schedule features three matchups with MRGC foes Boise State (Friday, Feb. 2), BYU (Friday, March 2) and Southern Utah (Friday, March 16). The Aggies welcome San José State and Sacramento State to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Friday, Jan. 19, for their home opener.
Six of the Aggies’ 2018 opponents are ranked in the preseason coaches' poll, led by No. 7 Michigan and No. 8 Denver in the top 10. Those two programs are followed by No. 13 Boise State, No. 24 Southern Utah, No. 25 Penn State and No. 34 BYU.
Three of Utah State’s other opponents are receiving votes in Bowling Green, UC Davis and San José State.
Utah State concluded the 2017 season by participating in the 2017 NCAA Regional Championships in Seattle, Washington. It marked the fourth-straight year the Aggies have advanced to regionals, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished since the program appeared in 17 straight regionals from 1986-2002.
Furthermore, Utah State, which was picked to finish tied for last place in the 2017 MRGC preseason coaches’ poll, captured second place at the conference championships, which were held at the Spectrum. While Boise State won the meet with a 197.050, the Aggies edged out Southern Utah, 196.100-196.075. BYU finished fourth with a 194.675. USU’s 196.100 was the best score the Aggies had ever produced in a conference championship meet, the fifth-best home score in school history and the ninth-best overall. The second-place finish was Utah State’s best placing at a conference championship meet since 2005 when the Aggies captured the WAC crown.