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UVU track: McPherson’s big day paces UVU track at BYU on Friday

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Jan. 10 2014 10:57 p.m. MST

Junior Michael McPherson gets ready to leap over the high jump at the BYU Smith Fieldhouse on Friday. McPherson will enter Saturday atop the standings in the heptathlon.

Shane Truskolaski, UVU Athletics

Enlarge photo»

Junior Michael McPherson led the way for Utah Valley University's track and field teams Friday at the BYU Invitational as he broke the school record in the long jump and will enter the final day of the meet atop the standings in the men's heptathlon.

"It's great to compete so close to home and our kids are responding well," head coach Scott Houle said. "We've had Mike McPherson put up some outstanding marks in the heptathlon and a number of girls do well in the high jump as well as a few others in the multis. So we're starting off the season well and I'm excited from what I've seen so far."

McPherson broke the long jump indoor record for the Wolverines with a leap of 24-03.25 (7.40m) on Friday. After four events, he also leads the heptathlon with 3,125 points. The 3,125 points after day one, also sets a new program record through four events.

Of the four heptathlon events McPherson competed in Friday, the UVU junior won two of them (long jump and 60m) and placed third in one (high jump) and fourth in the other (shot put). Sophomore Chandler Rieske is also competing for the Wolverines in the heptathlon and will enter Saturday in sixth place in the event with 2,400 points.

On the women's side, freshman Mindy Stapel and sophomore Ashli Schulz both scored more than 3,000 points in the pentathlon as Stapel finished in seventh place with 3,091 points and Schulz took eighth with 3,078.

Senior Autumn Robertson had a solid showing in the women's high jump late in the afternoon, as she cleared 5-02.25 (1.58m) to take second in the event. Her teammates, Emily Krout, Tonilynn Kretschmer and Emma Graves all tied for fourth in the same event with 5-00.25 (1.53m).

In other events Friday, sophomore Presten Beatty placed third in the men's long jump with a leap of 6.23m and freshman Bryce Richards came in fourth with 5.85m. In the women's long jump, sophomore Aimee Wheeler led the way by placing third (5.05m), while senior Ali Shields (4.99m) and freshman Lauren Hicks (4.83m) took fourth and fifth, respectively.

In the women's pole vault, freshman Bethany Foster (3.35m), sophomore Joni Warnick (3.20m) and freshman Bailey Cranford (3.20m) finished sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.

The meet will continue Saturday morning with the 60m hurdles of the men's heptathlon kicking things off at 10 a.m. The field events will then begin at noon with the women's triple jump, while the running events will start at 12:45 p.m. with the men's 60m hurdles.

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

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