BOISE - Boise State junior Emily Muhlenhaupt was named Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference Bars Specialist of the Year, and also picked up All-MRGC First Team honors in the event, the league announced Tuesday. Additionally, redshirt junior Maddi Nilson was named second-team All-MRGC on bars.

The Specialist of the Year is awarded annually to the student-athlete with the highest National Qualifying Score at the end of the regular season. The gymnasts with the three-highest NQSs are named first-team all-conference, while those ranked Nos. 4-6 are named second-team All-MRGC.

Muhlenhaupt, who was named first-team All-America by the Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association earlier Monday, concluded the 2020 regular season ranked tied for fourth nationally with a National Qualifying Score of 9.945. The mark led the MRGC and earned her a second-straight first-team all-conference nod.

Nilson recorded an NQS of 9.845, picking up her first-career all-conference accolade.

Muhlenhaupt recorded a 9.900 or higher in eight of her nine bars routines in 2020, including a pair of 9.975s, which matched her career high and tied both the Boise State and MRGC records. She also earned a pair of 9.950s.

She picked up seven bars titles in 2020, and despite the abbreviated season, still finished the year tied for third on Boise State’s all-time single-season list (Anne Staker, 1991). She was also named MRGC Specialist of the Week seven times this season.

Nilson established her career high on bars this season, earning a 9.900 in a triangular at San Jose State, Jan. 26. She posted at least a 9.850 in five of her nine routines on the season.

The MRGC will announce its conference awards throughout this week, with beam and floor accolades being unveiled Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, and accolades for Gymnast, Freshman and Coach of the Year coming on Friday.

Boise State was slated to defend its five-consecutive MRGC Championships this past Saturday at ExtraMile Arena, but, like all other NCAA competitions for the remainder of the academic year, was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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