HUMBLE, Texas — For five years the Utah Valley University men's and women's track teams competed in the Great West Conference and the league has known no other champion than the Wolverines.
The Wolverines — in their final GWC Championships before moving the the Western Athletic Conference — the men's and women's teams ran away with the titles.
The UVU women scored 323 points, while Houston Baptist was second with 188 points, followed by Texas-Pan American 157.5, Cal State Bakersfield 50, Chicago State 47 and NJIT 37.5.
The UVU men scored 262 points, while Houston Baptist was second with 184 points, followed by Texas-Pan American 123, NJIT 79, Cal State Bakersfield 72 and Chicago State 50.
"It's awesome we never felt defeat in the conference," said UVU track and field coach Scott Houle, who was named the men's and women's coach of the year for the fifth straight year. "All the kids that have come and gone through here have never lost at our conference championships."
In other awards, UVU's Michael McPherson was the male outstanding athlete and best performance of the meet; Brooke Hodson-Davies was named the female outstanding athlete and Ali Shield received the award for the female best performance.
"I think the competition (in the conference) has kept the kids driven to keep working hard during the summers," Houle said. "We have always had good competition pushing us and making us want to get better."
McPherson had a big meet: 1st, long jump, 24-07; 1st, high jump, 6-01.25; 1st, 4x100 meters, 41.72; 2nd, 4x400 meters 3:17.51; 3rd, 110 hurdles, 15.09; 4th, javelin, 151-10; 4th, 200 meters, 22.19 and 7th, 100 meters; 10.98.
Houle said McPherson's jump of 24-07 in the long jump puts him in a good position to qualify for the NCAA Preliminaries. Also, Hodson-Davies and Maryn Pincock, who won the shot put (47-07.25) and the discus (162-10) for the second consecutive year, have a good chance at qualifying as well in the 3000 steeplechase and discus, respectively.
In other events Sunday, Natalie Young-Baker finished third and fifth, respectively, in the 400 meters (55.85) and the 200 meters (24.43).
The women also placed four in the 100 hurdles: Burr (2nd, 14.27); Ali Shields (5th, 14.74); Krissy Knowles (6th, 14.85) and Sally Hansen (8th, 15.23), and three in the 400 hurdles: Mykah Heaton (2nd, 1:03.85); Hansen (5th, 1:07.54) and Knowles (6th, 1:07.67).
In the women's high jump, Wolverines finished 2 through 5 led by Ali Shields (5-01.75) followed by Autumn Robertson (J5-01.75), Heaton (5-00.50) and Esplin (4-11.50), while in the long jump the Wolverines placed the top four led by Joni Warnick (10-09 followed by Lindsey Bryant (9-11.25); Gately Garnett (J9-11.25) and Shields (7-03).
Esplin won the heptathlon with 4, 567 points followed by Shield (4,188) and Garnett (4,125) were second and third, and Robertson was fifth (3.749).
The 4x400 women's relay team won the event at 3:49.02 (Paddock, Taylor Gomez, Young-Baker, Heaton), and the 4x100 women's relay team placed second (Rebecca Brown-Renshaw, Young-Baker, Paddock, Burr) at 47.88.
In other scoring Sunday performances: Burr (6th, 100 meters, 12.25 and 5th, 200 meters, 24.93); Gomez (6th, 400 meters, 58.85); Paddock (7th, 400 meters, 58.87); Hodson-Davies (5th, 1500 meters, 4:49.70); Deeter (7th, 1500 meters, 4:55.96); Sharp (8th, 1500 meters, 4:56.23); Esplin (4th, long jump, 18-05.25) Heaton (5th, long jump, 18-05); Aimee Wheeler (7th, long jump, 17-09.75); Rachel Garrett (5th, shot put, 38-01.25 and 6th, discus, 126-04).
Brandon Edmondson (4:07.86), Chris Dorton (4:08.47) and Monsen (4:09.94) went 3 through 5 in the 1500 meters, while Joshua McCabe (15:09.78), Macey Butterfield (15:26.53) and Edmondson (15:35.77) went 2, 3, 4 in the 5000 meters.
Cole Eisenhour (14.74) won the 110 hurdles.
The men's 4x100 relay team (McPherson, Taylor, Peterson, Laryea-Akrong) won the event at 41.72, and the 4x400 relay team (McPherson, Brydson, Taylor, Brandon Yardley) placed second at 3:17.51.
In other Sunday scoring performances: Logan Rusch (4th, 100 meters, 10.94); Jordan Peterson (5th, 100 meters, 10.95); Rand Hughes (8th, 100 meters, 11.11 and 7th, 200 meters, 22.23); Jacob Brydson (5th, 200 meters, 22.23); Peterson (8th, 200 meters, 22.85); Yardley (5th, 800 meters, 1:56.04); Josh Monsen (6th, 800 meters, 1:57.32); Brenden Emery (6th, 5000 meters, 15:39.03); Eisenhour (6th, 400 hurdles, 56.10); Stephen Wickhamshire (8th, discus, 105-04).
Jay Hinton is a sports information assistant at Utah Valley University.
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