Utah Valley University junior Michael McPherson finds himself in 13th place at the midway point in the decathlon at the 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
McPherson, who became UVU's first-ever student-athlete to compete in the NCAA Track and Field Championships on Wednesday, enters Thursday's final five events with 3,912 points. The Wolverine decathlete won the 400-meter dash as well as placed second in the 100m on his way to the 3,912 points.
"Michael bracketed a solid day in his middle three events with a great 100m and 400m. We are confident with a consistent day on Thursday he can move up from his pre-meet No. 20 ranking," associate head coach Kirke Adamson said. "Michael should start well on Thursday with a strong event — the 110m hurdles — and it will set the tone for his day."
The Parker, Colorado, native began his inaugural NCAA Championship appearance with a solid time of 10.73 seconds in the 100m dash. He then followed that up with a 10th-place outing in the long jump by recording a leap of 7.24m. After the 100m and long jump, McPherson sat in third place overall.
Following a 22nd-place finish in the shot put with a throw of 10.39m, McPherson took 15th in the high jump by clearing 1.90m. McPherson then saved his best for last on the day as he won the 400m dash with a blazing time of 48.24 seconds. McPherson's 48.24 was fast enough to edge out Texas' Wolf Mahler for first, as McPherson won the race by 0.05 (48.33).
Despite being in 13th after five events, McPherson enters day two just 133 points out of cracking the top eight and 331 back of the leader.
Johannes Hock of Texas is leading the decathlon after day one's events with 4,243 points, while Wisconsin's Zach Ziemek is in second with 4,223 and USC's Viktor Fajoyomi is in third with 4,166.
The decathlon concludes from the University of Oregon's historic Hayward Field on Thursday. The day opens at 11 a.m. PT, with the 110m hurdles. The discus then follows at noon, while the pole vault takes place at 2 p.m., the javelin at 4:30 and the 1500m run closes the decathlon at 7.
To follow live results of the 2014 NCAA Championships visit the Flash Results website.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.