UVU track: McPherson, Lingwall lead UVU at day one of WAC Championships

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, May 14 2014 5:01 p.m. MDT

UVU junior Jessica Lingwall clears the high jump at the Hal Wing Track and Field in Orem on Wednesday. Lingwall currently leads the women's heptathlon after four events.

Shane Truskolaski, UVU Athletics

Enlarge photo»

Utah Valley University juniors Michael McPherson and Jessica Lingwall are leading the way for the Wolverines after the first day of action at the 2014 WAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships as they currently lead the men's decathlon and the women's heptathlon, respectively, at the midway point.

McPherson, who came into the conference meet ranked 22nd in the nation in the decathlon, is atop the leaderboard at the Championships with 4,092 points after five events, while Lingwall leads the heptathlon with 3,030 points after four events. UVU actually holds four of the top five spots in the heptathlon as fellow Wolverines Ali Shields, Mindy Stapel and Ashli Schulz sit in second, third and fifth places, respectively, after Wednesday's action.

"Both the men and women looked fantastic as we are leading the decathlon as well as the heptathlon. We are specifically looking good in the heptathlon and some of the kids still have their best events to come tomorrow," head coach Scott Houle said. "Mike McPherson and Jessica Lingwall both had outstanding days today and we're excited with how things are going."

McPherson is 521 points ahead of his next closest competitor in the decathlon after he won four of the five events he competed in on the day. The Wolverine junior began Wednesday's competition by winning the 100-meter dash with a lifetime best time of 10.65 seconds. He then followed that up with a victory in the long jump (7.45m), another one in the high jump (2.00m) and finished the day with a win in the 400m dash (47.80). McPherson also placed fifth in the shot put with a toss of 10.38m.

Lingwall is leading the heptathlon after winning three of the four events in the competition on the day. Lingwall took home titles in the high jump (1.62m), the shot put (10.71m) and the 200m dash (25.59). The UVU junior also took second in the 100m hurdles with a time of 14.85 seconds.

With their outstanding opening days, McPherson and Lingwall recorded personal day one records in their respective multi event.

The senior Shields finds herself in second place in the heptathlon with 2,897 points, while Stapel is in third (2,714) and Schulz sits in fifth (2,665). Shields was the lone other Wolverine to win an event on the day as she took home the win in the 100m hurdles with a time of 14.77 seconds. Shields also recorded personal records in the 200m and the shot put, and in fact, all four Wolverine women put up collegiate personal records in the 200m dash on the day.

Chandler Rieske was the lone other Wolverine to compete Wednesday, and he currently sits in seventh place in the men's decathlon with 3,014 points.

The WAC Outdoor Championships continue Thursday with the conclusion of the decathlon and heptathlon, as well as the men's and women's 10,000m runs. The conference meet then features a number preliminaries as well as finals on Friday, and the Championships conclude Saturday.

The Championships are being contested at the Hal Wing Track and Field in Orem and are the first-ever WAC Championship to be contested on UVU's campus.

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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