After a two-week layoff from competition, the Utah Valley University track and field teams return to Idaho for Saturday's Boise State Team Challenge. The one day meet will be held at Jacksons Indoor Track in the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.
Saturday will mark the fourth meet of the indoor season that the Wolverines will compete at in the Gem State. UVU has previously taken part at Boise State's Jacksons Open and Multis and at Idaho State's Snake River Open and Mountain States Games. Following next week's Wildcat Open at Weber State, Utah Valley will then return to Idaho for its first-ever WAC Track Indoor Championships that will be held Feb. 26-28 at the University Idaho.
Three schools from Utah will be on hand at the Boise State Team Challenge on Saturday, and in all, 12 schools will be represented. UVU will take on the host Broncos as well as Cal State Fullerton, Nevada, Utah State, Northwest Nazarene, College of Idaho, Concordia (Ore.), Eastern Oregon, Lewis-Clark, Westminster and Treasure Valley Community College at the meet.
The Team Challenge will begin at 9 a.m. with the women's high jump and men's weight throw. The running events will get going at 10:45 a.m. with the mile run, and the men's 4x400-meter relay is slated to close the day at 3:40 p.m. Live results can be viewed throughout the meet by visiting the Bronco's athletic website.
In the Wolverines' last meet two weeks ago at ISU, true freshman Lauren Hicks broke the triple jump school record for the fourth time of the season as she placed third at the meet with a record-breaking leap of 11.68m. Senior Latoya Shaw also had a solid meet for the women at the Mountain States Games by winning the 60-meter dash in a time of 8.06 seconds. Freshman Drake Walker’s victories in the 60 and 200m opens, along with sophomores Trac Norris and Josh Monsen's wins in the 1-mile and 3000-meter runs, respectively, led the way for the men. Sophomore Cole Eisenhour also had another big meet for UVU by taking second in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.16, which was just 0.01 second shy of his school record.
The Utah Valley men are currently ranked 13th in the Mountain Region in the latest USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Regional rankings. Junior Michael McPherson also remains nationally ranked in two events as he enters the weekend 16th in the heptathlon (5432 points) and 46th in the long jump (7.40m). McPherson also ranks first in the WAC in those same two events as well as the 60m dash (6.88). Junior Nicholas Taylor paces the league in the 200m (21.47) and is second in the 60m (6.89), while sophomores Jason Lynch and Eisenhour are tops in the WAC in the 5000m (14:46.73) and 60m hurdles (8.17), respectively.
Following Saturday's meet, the Wolverines will conclude their regular seasons at Weber State's Wildcat Open next weekend.
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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