UVU track: three Wolverines named WAC Track Athletes of the Week

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, April 1 2014 5:00 p.m. MDT

Utah Valley University's Ivie Gonsalves and Lauren Hicks were named the Western Athletic Conference women's track and field Athletes of the Week, respectively, while Michael McPherson took home the field honors on the men's side for the week of March 24-30.

Gonsalves, a junior from Broomfield, Colo. (Legacy HS), won the 5000-meter run at the UVU Collegiate Invitational last Friday. Gonsalves took home the title on her home track with a time of 17:29.78. The UVU distance runner won the event by more than 43 seconds over the next closest finisher. Gonsalves’ time is good enough to lead the WAC this year and is 13th in the NCAA West Region.

Hicks, a freshman from Gilbert, Ariz. (Gilbert HS), broke her previous school record with a triple jump mark of 11.88m at the UVU Collegiate Invite. Hicks’ leap was good enough for second place in the event and tops in the WAC. Hicks also placed eighth in the long jump with a mark of 5.30m, which is good for the seventh-best mark in the WAC this year.

McPherson, a junior from Parker, Colo. (Chaparral Parker HS), won the long jump at the UVU Collegiate Invitational with a leap of 7.05 meters. On the track, McPherson set a school record in the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.59 seconds, in his first-ever time running the event. He also placed fifth in the javelin (45.87m) and helped his 4x100-meter relay squad take second in their relay (41.55). The time McPherson recorded in the 400-meter on Friday is good enough to lead the WAC and rank him 31st in the nation. His mark in the long jump and his time in the 4x100m are good enough for second place in the league, while his toss in the javelin currently ranks him seventh.

The conference honor is all three UVU student-athletes’ second of the outdoor season.

The WAC also recognized Grand Canyon’s Stephan Bullard on Tuesday as the men’s track athlete of the week. Bullard finished second in the 800-meter run over the weekend at the Aztec Invitational in San Diego, recording a time of 1:50.86. Bullard’s time is the fastest in the WAC this season.

UVU takes a break from action this weekend but returns to the track next weekend in Salt Lake City at the Utah Spring Classic.

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