Though the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference or MRGC is relatively low-profile, it features three teams in the top 25 of the NCAA gymnastics rankings. The BYU Cougars will host the Boise State Broncos, the Southern Utah Thunderbirds, and the Utah State Aggies in the MRGC Championship competition on Friday evening in Provo, Utah.

Boise State and BYU have faced off several times this season and it should be a close battle for the conference championship. The Thunderbirds will hope to secure their spot at regionals and show that they can compete with the two leading teams.

The Broncos, currently ranked 13th, will rely on big scores on bars and beam to offset their two weaker events, vault and floor. Boise State has done well the past few weeks, both at home and away, and has scored over a 197 twice this season. The Broncos have been a bit inconsistent this season, counting falls here and there, but have also posted huge event scores and scored over a 49 on every event. Overall, their scoring potential is the highest of the four teams at this championship, but they will need to be consistent and hit cleanly to beat home team BYU.

Shannon Evans performs on the floor exercise for the BYU Cougars/Desert News

The Cougars hit 197 for the first time in fifteen years earlier this season and have posted big scores on vault and floor. However, their inconsistency on beam and bars may hold them back. BYU’s two strongest events are the Broncos’ two weakest events, making for an interesting battle. While the Broncos are held back on vault and floor by their lower start values, BYU excels on these events, where they are ranked fourteenth in the nation.

The Thunderbirds have had a solid season, with a high score of 196.575. They are currently ranked 24th after struggling with consistency in the beginning of the season. Each week has seen the team improve and they are capable of scoring a 49 on every event. With a great performance, Southern Utah could put pressure on both Boise State and BYU for the conference championship title. The Thunderbirds are a well-balanced team and should perform well on all four events with hit routines.

The MRGC has three closely ranked teams, where either Boise State or BYU could win the championship depending on the team’s performance. Though the Thunderbirds have been under the radar, they are also a strong team that has been performing well in the weeks leading up to the championship and will make their presence known. Each team’s performance at this meet will determine their final placement for regionals, with the Broncos and Cougars hoping to earn a seeded place at Regionals.

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