OREM, Utah - With four meets spanning four days in two different states this last week, the Utah Valley University men's and women's track teams got a little taste of what the Great West Conference meet will be like later this month.
The Wolverines experienced competition in back-to-back days and competed in warmer weather like they'll find in Houston, and according to UVU track and field coach Scott Houle, the teams, although spread out at four different locales, fared well.
"We came in here with some expectations because this is our big final weekend before we head to conference," said Houle, whose team will compete in a scaled-down meet at BYU next week before heading to the conference meet. "We are setting ourselves up for the conference championships. I feel really good with how we did this weekend."
At the 55th Annual Mt. Sac Relays, which is considered one of the top meets in the nation, the Wolverines recorded 11 top 20 finishes led by a third-place finish (40.90 seconds) in the Olympic Development Elite division by the 4x100 relay team of Michael McPherson, Nicholas Taylor, Jacob Brydson and Allah Laryea-Akrong.
In addition to his two legs in the relays, Taylor, the reigning Great West Conference Athlete of the Week, placed 16th (21.41) in the 200 meter open and 26th (10.78) in the 100 meter open.
Joshua McCabe (14:26.86) and Macy Butterfield (14:35.39) placed sixth and 13th, respectively, in the 5000 meter open.
In the women's throwing events, the Wolverines had four top 20 finishes led by a ninth-place finish by Maryn Pincock in the discus (48.32m) and a 13th-place finish in the shot put (14.09m).
Kelli Roach (43.19m) and Joni Warnick (39.54m) placed 11th and 16th, respectively, in the javelin.
Brooke Hodson-Davies (11:34.36) placed 13th in the women's 10,000 meters.
At the Bryan Clay Invitational, the women throwers performed well with Pincock finishing second (48.20m) in Flight 1 of the discus, and McKell Camp-Nielson (43.38m) and Roach (42.42m) placing fourth and fifth in the javelin.
Also, Michael McPherson won the decathlon with 6,973 points.
In addition, the Wolverines added five more top 25 finishes at the Beach Invitational: Chris Dorton (13th, 3000 steeplechase, 9:32.41); Blake Adams (23rd, 400 meters, 49.61); Mykah Heaton (23rd, 400 hurdles, 1:02.11); Brandon Edmondson (15th, 5000 meters, 15:24.50); and 4x400 relay (4th, Brydson, Taylor, Logan Rusch, Blake Adams 3:15.53).
At the Bryan Clay Invitational, which was contested in flights and sections due to the overall volume of competitors, the Wolverines had 20 top 5 finishes in their respective sections: 4x100 (5th, Natalie Young-Baker, Megan Burr, Rebecca Brown-Renshaw, Courtney Paddock, 48.00); Harley Murray (3rd, 1500 meters, 4:49.94); Krissy Knowles (5th, 100 hurdles, 15.14); Ali Shields (3rd, 100 hurdles, 14.94); Mykah Heaton (3rd, 100 hurdles, 15.55); Stephen Wickhamshire (2nd, 400 meters, 51.19); Rand Huges (3rd, 100 meters, 11.24); Young-Baker (4th, 100 meters, 12.42); Blake Adams (5th, 800 meters, 1:53.86); Sally Hansen (5th, 800 meters, 1:05.47); Jordan Peterson (5th, 200 meters, 22.06); Young-Baker (3r, 200 meters, 24.97); Krystal Harper (5th, 5000 meters, 18:05.45); Ally Deeter (2nd, 5000 meters, 18:15.76); Hazel Bridget (3rd, 5000 meters, 18:16.80); Jessica Wilding (4th, 18:18.03); 4x400 (1st, Courtney Paddock, Natalie Young-Baker, Taylor Gomez, Mykah Heaton, 3:51.34); Lexi Esplin (4th, long jump, 5.38m); Mykah Heaton (1st, long jump, 5.50m); Ali Shields (2nd, long jump, 5.37m); Shields (3rd, triple jump, 10.99m).
A little closer to home at Utah State's Mark Faldmo Invitational, Chelsey Stegelmeier posted three top 10 finishes in the hammer (7th, 148-01), shot put (6th,40-07.50) and discus (9th, 38.46m).
In other notable performances at Utah State: Markale Chadaz (4th, javelin, 108-03); Ashli Schulz (6ht, javelin, 101-00); Autumn Robertson (7th, long jump, 16-09.25); Nelson Orton (1st, 3000 steeplechase, 10:56.73); Rachel Garrett (6th, discus, 130-07); Latoya Shaw (6th, 100 meters, 12.61); Tanner Smith (7th, 1:55.75) and Wendy Peterson (9th, 200 meters, 25.79).
Jay Hinton is a sports information assistant at Utah Valley University.
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