Winning 500 games in any program is sweet. It’s even sweeter when defeating a rival which is exactly what the Utah State University did to BYU on Friday night in front of 3,313 fans. This is especially impressive for the program considering that most college games outside of football and basketball don’t draw big crowds. Nobody could hear any pins drop at this game.
This crowd was the 10th largest in school history and the largest to witness a USU gymnastics meet since 1994 when 3,553 fans watched USU take down BYU. Why does USU dominate BYU in gymnastics yet get dominated in a lot of the other sports?
The answer could be answered by reading that old college statistics book lying around. Everyone and their dog likes basketball and football and out of state Mormon athletes dream about playing for BYU. It’s hard for Utah State to get out of state Mormons to come to Utah because they aren’t an LDS owned school nor are they in a Power 5 conference like the PAC-12. They are left to recruit decent high school guys along the northern Wasatch front and some junior college transfers who are anxious to play at a Division 1 level.
Gymnastics however is a specialty sport that not a lot of people can do. So USU has an advantage and can recruit people who dream of making it to the Olympics one day. Not a ton of schools have a gymnastics team so USU can tell their recruits about the great program they are building and get perhaps the next Gabby Douglas on board.
So while USU has beaten BYU in football only twice in the last decade and only twice in basketball, they have won 8 out of the last 10 gymnastics competitions over BYU. Oh and that includes 4 straight in Provo. The Aggies are the cream of the crop in the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference.
Much of this success is credited to sophomore Madison Ward from Rexburg Idaho. She was as close to a ten as possible with a winning vault score of 9.85 and tying her career best on the floor with a 9.9.
The Aggies will host the MRGC championships on Saturday, March 18th at 6 PM.
Come support the Aggie gymnastics team, the best program currently at the University!