The Utah Valley University track and field teams return to Pocatello, Idaho, for the second straight meet this weekend to take part at Idaho State's Mountain States Games. The two-day competition will be held at ISU's Holt Arena and will run Friday through Saturday.
The meet will kick off Friday at noon with the men's heptathlon, while the women's pentathlon will begin 15 minutes later. The distance medley relay will conclude Friday's events at 7:50 p.m. The meet will then pick back up Saturday at 9:30 a.m. with the conclusion of the men's heptathlon. The running events will start at 11 a.m. (mile), and the meet is expected to conclude after the finals of the 200-meter dash at 2:30 p.m.
UVU last participated at ISU's Snake River Open two weeks ago, and the Wolverines had a big meet where they won 12 events and posted 39 top-three finishes. Freshman Lauren Hicks led the way by breaking the school record for the third time on the season in the triple jump with a leap of 11.56m.
Sophomore Trac Norris was named the WAC Track Athlete of the Week following the meet after winning the 800m (1:53.57) as well as running the final leg of the winning 4x400m relay team (3:16.18).
Senior Brooke Hodson-Davies continued her early season success in the distance events as she won the 1-mile run with a time of 5:05.08, while junior Michael McPherson also posted another solid meet by winning the long jump with a mark of 7.01m. McPherson was the lone Wolverine to compete last weekend as he took part at the Air Force Invitational. McPherson won the long jump at AFA, and he tied the school record that he holds with a leap of 7.40m. He also fared well in the heptathlon last weekend, as he set personal bests in the 60m hurdles (8.33) and the pole vault (4.20m).
In other notable performances at the Snake River Open two weeks ago, junior Nicholas Taylor won the 200m dash (21.66); seniors Michael Ashton and Marcus Pratt shared the men's pole vault title (4.65m); freshman Bryce Richards took first in the triple jump (12.91m); sophomore Trevor Sharp won the 1-mile run (4:23.89); junior Ty Rosser took first in the men's high jump (1.85m); and freshman Emily Krout took home the women's high jump title (1.50m).
On the latest WAC Indoor Performance List, McPherson leads the conference in the 60m (6.88), the long jump (7.40m) and the heptathlon (5432). McPherson's total in the heptathlon is also good enough to rank him seventh in the nation, while his mark of 7.40m in the long jump currently places him 28th. Taylor also leads the WAC in the 200m (21.47) and ranks second in the 60m (6.89). Sophomore Cole Eisenhour is tops in the league in the 60m hurdles (8.17), and sophomore Ashli Schulz paces the league in the pentathlon (3196).
In the first USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Regional Rankings of the season that were released this week, the Wolverine men's team finds itself ranked 11th in the Mountain Region.
Following this weekend's meet, UVU will be off until Feb. 15, when it will head to Nampa, Idaho, to participate at the Boise State Team Challenge.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.