LOGAN, Utah – Utah State’s McKinzey Martinez has been named the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference Specialist of the Week following her performance against then-No. 23 Southern Utah last Friday night, it was announced Monday by the league office.
This is the first career MRGC weekly accolade for Martinez, who earned second-team all-MRGC honors in the all-around last season. She is just the second Aggie gymnast to garner MRGC weekly honors, joining Sarah Landes, who won it once during the 2015 campaign.
Boise State’s Shani Remme and BYU’s Makenzie Johnson Halliday were both named co-MRGC Gymnasts of the Week for their performances last week.
Martinez, a senior from Kimberly, Idaho, won the bars title with a career-best 9.950 to help the Aggies record a season-high score of 194.900. Martinez’s 9.950, the highest individual score in the conference this week, is tied for the third-highest score in school history on the event. It is the highest score recorded by an Aggie in any event since 2005, when Jessica Parenti-Otte (vault) and Megan Tschida (floor) both turned in 9.950s.
“She has done a lot of detail work on bars and has gone back and tried to make her routines more flawless,” Utah State head coach Nadalie Walsh said of Martinez. “Going to Southern Utah and competing on bars and seeing the routine that she did, and seeing both a 10 and 9.9 be flashed, it was really exciting. I was happy to see the judges see what we see as a staff. She just really has beautiful and flawless gymnastics, and it all came together at the right time that day. She’s a really calm competitor, so that helps a lot, too.”
Former Aggie Tina Ellis had a 9.950 on bars against BYU on March 16, 2001, while Christy Denson hit that mark three times in her career, including at the 2000 NCAA Regional Championships.
Martinez, who has won four event titles and two all-around titles this year, is the first Aggie to reach the 9.900-plateau since senior Miranda Kerr (9.900 on vault) and junior Bailey McIntire (9.900 on floor) both did so during the 2014 campaign.
“Last week on my bars routine, I was super excited,” Martinez said. “I didn’t even realize that they flashed a 10 until Nadalie came up to me and said, ‘One of the judges just gave you a 10.’ I was just speechless and didn’t know what to think.”
Remme, a freshman competing in the all-around for the first time in her career, scored a 39.250 to lead Boise State (196.425) to victories over BYU (195.475) and UC Davis (194.750) last Friday night. Remme scored a 9.800 or higher on three of four events, including a 9.850 on bars, 9.825 on floor and a 9.800 on beam. She rounded out her night with a 9.775 on the vault.
Halliday matched the performance in the all-around, scoring a 39.250 made up of season-high marks on all four events. Halliday also claimed an individual title on beam, scoring a 9.875, while notching a 9.825 on floor, 9.800 on vault and a 9.750 on bars.
The MRGC is one of only two NCAA Division I gymnastics-only conferences in the nation. The Championships will be hosted by Boise State and held at Taco Bell Arena on Saturday, March 19. Tickets for the meet can be purchased by calling the Boise State ticket office at (208) 426-4737 or by visiting broncosports.com/tickets.
Utah State (2-1, 0-1 MRGC) returns home to face Southern Utah (2-2, 1-0) on Friday, Jan. 29, at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The meet is slated to begin at 7 p.m.
For USU gymnastics ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305, or online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
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