UVU track: Utah Valley set to compete at BYU this weekend

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 8 2014 6:06 p.m. MST

After taking nearly a month off for the holiday break, the Utah Valley University men's and women's track and field teams will return to action at BYU this weekend. The three-day BYU Invitational will run Thursday through Saturday at the Smith Fieldhouse in Provo.

The BYU Invite will kick off Thursday evening at BYU's Indoor Practice Facility, which is located just west of the Smith Fieldhouse. The men's and women's discus will take place that evening with action beginning at 5:15 p.m. The meet will then continue Friday with the men's heptathlon and the women's pentathlon taking place, as well as a number of field events. The 60m hurdles of the women's pentathlon will kick things off Friday at noon, while the women's shot put will conclude the day's events at 5 p.m.

All running events as well as the conclusion of the men's heptathlon and the field events will then take place Saturday. The 60m hurdles of the men's heptathlon will be the first event of the day at 10 a.m., while the women's 4x400m relay will close the meet at 4:30 p.m.

Competitors from UVU, BYU, Utah and Westminster are scheduled to take part at the Invitational.

Both of Utah Valley's track teams began the 2013-14 indoor seasons at Boise State's Jacksons Open and Multis on Dec. 13, and the Wolverines had a big opening meet. UVU won seven events that day and posted 27 top-three finishes. Utah Valley also broke three school records at the Jacksons Open and Multis.

Senior Ali Shields and junior Nicholas Taylor led the way as they won two events apiece at the meet. Shields not only won 60m hurdles (9.17 seconds) and the triple jump (11.39m), but her leap of 37-04.50 in the triple was good enough to shatter the UVU record in the event. The sprinter Taylor also had an impressive meet as he won the 60m and 200m dashes with respective times of 6.89 and 21.47.

Sophomore Cole Eisenhour was another Wolverine to break a school record at Boise State as he won the 60m hurdles in a blazing time of 8.22 seconds. The other record came from true freshman Lauren Hicks, who set the triple jump school record in her first collegiate meet with 11.20m before Shields set it again with her impressive leap of 11.39m. Hicks' jump of 36-09.00 was good enough for second place in the triple jump.

Senior Autumn Robertson also had a big opening meet for the women's team as she won the high jump by clearing 5-03.00, while the tandem of Eisenhour, Taylor, sophomore Jacob Peterson and freshman Brandon Smart took home the 4x400m relay on the men's side with a time of 3.22.90.

Last season at the BYU Invitational, former Wolverine Allah Laryea-Akrong led UVU as he shattered the school record in the 60m dash as he won the race with a time of 6.69. Eisenhour (60H, 1st, 8.49); Taylor (300m, 1st, 34.91); Krissy Knowles (60H, 1st, 9.22); Courtney Paddock (400m, 1st, 58.25); Shaelee Sweatfield (800m, 1st, 2:27.01); Aimee Wheeler (long jump, 1st, 16-00.25); Joni Warnick (pole vault, 1st, 9-06.25); Maryn Pincock (discus, 1st, 148-03.50); and Lexie Esplin (pentathlon, 1st, 3,147) also won events at the meet last year.

Up next for the Wolverines

Following this weekend's meet, the UVU men and women will head to Pocatello, Idaho, to take part at Idaho State's Snake River Open on Jan. 18.

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.