UVU track: Laryea-Akrong becomes 4-time GWC champion

By Jay Hinton

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Feb. 24 2013 6:22 p.m. MST

HOUSTON — Utah Valley University senior Allah Laryea-Akrong became a four-time Great West Conference champion Sunday in 60 and 200 meters with winning times of 6.81 seconds and 21.76 seconds.

The championships were contested at the Yoeman Fieldhouse at the University of Houston.

"Allah had a great meet. He went out there and wanted to be a four-time champion," UVU track and field coach Scott Houle said. "Allah did a great job for us."

He was pushed in both events by UVU sophomore Nicholas Taylor, who finished five one-hundredths of a second behind Laryea-Akrong in the 60 meters and one one-hundredeth of a second in the 200 meters.

"He and Nick had a great battle in the 200," Houle said. "They pushed each other and both of them had a great race."

Heading into the final day, the UVU women, the defending champion, led over UTPA and Houston Baptist, but Houston Baptist (196) clipped the Wolverines (184) for the team title. The UVU men were in third place heading into Sunday's action behind HBU and UTPA. The Wolverine men, also the defending champion, passed UTPA but couldn't catch HBU. HBU scored 175 points to UVU's 167 in the five-team scoring format.

"It was a great meet for people to watch. Every jump, throw and race changed the points. HBU came in and was loaded and it came down to the wire to see who would win," Houle said.

Now the Wolverines are jumping to the Western Athletic Conference in July 2013.

"It's a bitter-sweet thing," Houle said. "We're excited to go into the WAC, but we made some good friends in this conference."

UVU's Maryn Pincock earned the Top Performance of the Meet by breaking the conference record in the shot put with a toss of 46 feet, 8 inches.

Joining Laryea-Akrong and Pincock as GWC champions on Day 2: Stephen Wickhamshire (heptathlon, 4,114); Michael Ashton (pole vault, 14-09) and Angela Blackham (3,000 meters, 10:13.87). In the pole vault, the Wolverines took the top five spots. Behind Ashton in order of finish were Riley O'Neal (14-02.25), Marcus Pratt (14-03.25); Wickhamshire (12-09.50) and Levi Ball (12-09.25).

In other notable performances Sunday: Marcus Pratt (2nd, heptathlon, 3,761); Darian Sharp (4th, mile, 5:13.43; 2nd, 3,000 meters, 10:16.61); Megan Burr (3rd, 60 hurdles, 9.07; 2nd, 200 meters, 25.46 ); Cole Eisenhour (3rd, 60 hurdles); Brandon Yardley (3rd, 800 meters, 1:58.59); Macey Butterfield (2nd, 3,000 meters, 8:47.05), and the women's 4 x 400 relay team (Samantha Sweet, Rebecca Brown-Renshaw, Taylor Gomez, Courtney Paddock, 2nd, 3:54.51).

Jay Hinton is a sports information assistant at Utah Valley University.

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