Mackie to join Utes for 2008 season

The University of Utah women’s gymnastics team got an early Christmas present yesterday in the form of Canadian star Gael Mackie, who is set to join the team Dec. 26.

Soon-to-be-Ute Gael Mackie.

The Daily Utah Chronicle, the student newspaper at the University of Utah, reported yesterday that Utes coach Greg Marsden is “99.9 percent sure” Mackie will be in the Utah lineup for its home-opener against top rival Georgia Jan. 9.

There is one step yet to complete. Mackie and the Red Rocks are waiting for Mackie’s high school diploma to be awarded by the Ministry of Education and sent to the NCAA for approval.

The Ministry of Education represents an additional step to graduating high school in Canada that is not present in the United States. Canadian graduates must be approved by the government in the form of the Ministry, rather than by high schools, as is the case in America.

“We’re hoping that (her transcripts are approved) at the end of this week, next week at the latest,” Marsden said.

As soon as the NCAA announces Mackie’s eligibility, then “it’s just a matter of her getting a plane flight and being here,” Marsden said.

Mackie in top form might be just the thing Utah needs to give them the edge over Georgia. Then again, nobody expects Suzanne Yoculan’s Gym Dogs to just lie down.

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