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UVU track: men and women stand in second after day three of WAC Championships

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, May 16 2014 9:36 p.m. MDT

UVU sophomore Trac Norris (left) runs along his competitors. He won the men's 3000m steeplechase on Friday at the 2014 WAC Outdoor Championships.

Shane Truskolaski, UVU Athletics

Enlarge photo»

The Utah Valley University track and field teams dropped into second place after day three at the WAC Outdoor Championships. The 2014 WAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships will conclude Saturday at UVU's Hal Wing Track and Field in Orem.

"Our teams are both working hard and doing a great job. We have kids in finals in nearly all of the events and I'm excited to see how we perform on Saturday," head coach Scott Houle said. "Mike McPherson is continuing to have a great meet and I'm looking forward to seeing how everything plays out."

Both of UVU's men's and women's teams entered the day in first place in the team score race, but after Friday's competition Idaho's men and women now lead the way with 84 and 74 respective points. The Wolverine men are in second with 67 points, while the women hold the second spot as well with 56 points of their own. Grand Canyon's men's squad is in third place with 46 points, while Texas-Pan American is in third on the women's side with 40.

Individually, sophomore Trac Norris led the way by winning the men's 3000-meter steeplechase. The UVU distance runner won the event with a time of 9:18.80. Fellow Wolverines Chris Dorton and Chris Brower also ran well in the event as they placed third (9:32.38) and fifth (9:40.81), respectively.

A day removed from winning the men's decathlon with a school record of 7,401 points, junior Michael McPherson continued his strong meet by taking second in the long jump with a leap of 6.94m. McPherson also qualified for the finals in the 100 and 200m dashes on the day by winning both of his preliminary heats with respective times of 10.72 and 21.32 seconds.

Marcus Pratt and Levi Ball too scored points for the UVU men by taking fourth (4.76m) and sixth (4.31m), respectively, in the pole vault. McKay Burnett also finished seventh for the Wolverines in the men's shot put with a toss of 14.36m.

On the women's side, Brooke Hodson-Davies finished in fourth place in women's steeplechase with a time of 11.29.10, while Autumn Robertson, Jessica Lingwall and Mindy Stapel placed third, fourth and seventh, respectively, in the high jump. Robertson and Lingwall finished in third and fourth with identical marks of 1.65m, while Stapel finished in seventh place by clearing 1.62m.

Senior Ali Shields also scored a point for the UVU women in the women's long jump by placing eighth with a leap of 5.34m.

In preliminary action Friday, the Wolverine men and women also qualified at least one athlete into Saturday's finals in 11 of the 13 races.

The final day of the 2014 WAC Outdoor Championships gets underway at 9 a.m., with the men's hammer throw, while the running finals are scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m.

Men's team scores (through seven events)

1. Idaho, 84

2. Utah Valley, 67

3. Grand Canyon, 46

4. Kansas City, 31

5. Seattle U, 24

6. Bakersfield, 9

7. Texas-Pan American, 7

8. Chicago State, 5

Women's team scores (through seven events)

1. Idaho, 74

2. Utah Valley, 56

3. Texas-Pan American, 40

4. Grand Canyon, 39

5. Kansas City, 31

6. New Mexico State, 16

7. Seattle U, 15

8. Chicago State, 2

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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