The Utah Valley University track and field teams head to Southern California this week for a series of meets. The Wolverines will take part at the renowned Mt. SAC Relays, as well as Azusa Pacific's Bryan Clay Invitational and Long Beach State's Beach Invitational.
The week begins with the Mt. SAC Multis that will be held at Azusa Pacific University. Junior Michael McPherson will compete in the men's decathlon for the Wolverines on Wednesday and Thursday at APU's Cougar Stadium. The 56th annual Mt. SAC Relays then gets underway Thursday at Mt. San Antonio College's Hilmer Lodge Stadium and runs Thursday through Saturday. The Bryan Clay Invite begins Friday back at Azusa Pacific, while Long Beach State's Beach Invitational takes place Saturday at Cerritos College.
Also on Saturday, a few Wolverines head to Logan, Utah, for Utah State's Mark Faldmo Invitational. The Mark Faldmo Invite gets underway at 10 a.m. at USU's Ralph Maughn Stadium.
Utah Valley enters the busy week off a couple of solid outings in the Beehive State last week. The Wolverines competed at the Utah Spring Classic last Friday as well as the Weber State Invitational on Saturday, and McPherson as well as freshmen Kyler Sprague and Bennie Foster led the way. McPherson took home the 200m dash title (21.42) on Friday as well as placed second in the long jump (7.17m), while Sprague posted UVU's second fastest time ever in the 400m hurdles as he took second in the race (51.81). Foster set a school record in the women's pole vault (3.67m).
Sprague was recognized Tuesday as the WAC's Track Athlete of the Week after his second-place finish in the 400m hurdles last weekend. Sprague's time in the race is the fastest in the conference this season and currently ranks him 16th in the West Region and 26th in the nation.
A year ago at the Mt. SAC Relays, which is dubbed "where the world's best athletes compete", McPherson had a big meet as he won the decathlon (6,973 points) as well as placed third in the 4x100m relay in the Olympic Development Elite division (40.90) with teammates Nicholas Taylor, Jake Brydson and Allah Laryea-Akrong. Taylor also performed well for the Wolverines in the 200- and 100-meter dashes a year ago by placing 16th and 26th, respectively, with times of 21.41 and 10.78.
Following this weekend's busy schedule, UVU makes the short trip to BYU next week for the BYU Robison Invitational.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.