HUMBLE, Texas — The Utah Valley University men's and women's track and field teams will be shooting for their unprecedented fifth straight conference title when the Great West Conference Track and Field Championship get underway Friday.
It will be the Wolverines' final GWC meet as they are moving to the Western Athletic Conference next season.
"It's bittersweet because this has been a good conference for us. We're excited to have one more shot at it. We want to go out as repeat champions," UVU track and field coach Scott Houle said. "They are pretty determined on hitting good marks and they ultimately want to go out and win it and keep it at our place."
Last year, the women's team ran away with the meet as it finished almost 150 points ahead of second-place North Dakota with 292.5 points. UND placed second with 146, followed by Houston Baptist (131), Texas-Pan American (114), Seattle (49), Cal State Bakersfield (27), NJIT (21.5) and Chicago State (16).
The men's team won its title by finishing 40 points ahead of second-place Houston Baptist with 185.5 points. HBU posted 145 points for second place and was followed by UND (126), Seattle (87), CSUB (85), UTPA (83), NJIT (56) and CSU (41.5).
This year, Houle knows it will be a tough feat to overtake Houston Baptist, which won the men's and women's indoor titles.
"We are going to have to have a balanced attack," Houle said. "We have to rely on all of them. We have to make sure everyone is focusing on their part and competing at a high level."
Competition begins Friday at 1 p.m. MT with the 100 meters in the men's decathlon followed by the 100m hurdles in the women's heptathlon at 1:30 p.m. The 10,000-meter finals will be held later that evening.
Heptathlon and decathlon events continue at 11 a.m. on Saturday, while the men's shot put kicks off the field events at noon. Track events begin Saturday at 3:05 p.m. with the women's 1500 meters.
The meet concludes Sunday.
Jay Hinton is a sports information assistant at Utah Valley University.