Junior Michael McPherson and freshman Lauren Hicks led the way for the Utah Valley University track and field teams on Friday at the UVU Collegiate Invitational by both breaking school records. The one-day meet was held at UVU's Hal Wing Track and Field and featured competitors from every Division I school in the state of Utah.
"It was a good day," UVU head coach Scott Houle said. "Both Lauren (Hicks) and Mike (McPherson) had a couple of standout performances by breaking school records for us again. And overall I was pleased with how everyone competed as we had good marks and times in every event."
McPherson set a school record in the 400-meter dash while Hicks broke another record in the triple jump once again. McPherson set the school record in the 400m by winning the race in his very first time competing in it with a blazing time of 47.59 seconds. Hicks on the other hand broke her record in the triple jump with a leap of 11.88m. Hicks' triple jump mark was good enough to take second in the event.
McPherson added to his already impressive day by also winning the long jump with a mark of 7.05m and taking fifth in javelin 45.87m.
In all, Utah Valley won a total of five events on the day and recorded 24 top-three finishes at its lone regular season track meet of the year.
The Wolverines also picked up wins from senior Chris Dorton in the 3000m steeplechase, junior Ivie Gonsalves in the 5000m run and freshman Samantha Reeves in the 100m dash. Dorton won the 3000m steeplechase with a time of 9:26.51, while Gonsalves took home the 5000m title in a time of 17:29.78 and Reeves the 100m in 12.42 seconds.
The men's team also received top-three finishes at the one-day meet from sophomore Trac Norris (second, 3000m steeplechase, 9:37.40), freshman Kyler Sprague (third, 110m hurdles, 15.09), sophomore Logan Rusch (third, 200m, 22.22), sophomore Seth Gutzwiller (second, 5000m, 15:21.16), freshman Chuk Mitchell (third, 5000m, 15:24.08), sophomore Scott Moake (third, high jump, 2.05m), senior Marcus Pratt (third, pole vault, 470m), freshman McKay Burnett (second, hammer, 48.49m) and the UVU `A' relay team (second, 4x100m relay, 41.55).
The women's team also recorded top-three showings from sophomore Celeste Gutzman (second, 1500m, 4:51.03), senior Ali Shields (second, 100m hurdles, 14.74), junior Jessica Lingwall (third, 100m hurdles, 14.79), sophomore Sam Sweet (second, 400m, 56.69), senior Latoya Shaw (third, 100m 12.68), sophomore Aisha Graham (second, 800m, 2:13.22), junior Wendy Peterson (third, 200m, 25.85), sophomore Bridget Hazel (second, 5000m, 18:12.78), and the UVU `A' relay team (second, 4x400m relay, 3:52.59).
At the meet UVU faced competitors from in-state foes BYU, Southern Utah, Utah, Utah State, Weber State and Westminster as well as Air Force, Idaho State and Colorado Mesa.
"It was a great meet today," Houle said. "The weather was awesome, which allowed the kids to be relaxed. It also brought out some great competition, as this meet is traditionally one of the biggest meets in the state of Utah. It's nice to be here at home and competing in front of our friends and family."
The Wolverines will now be off until April 11 when they'll head to Salt Lake City to compete at the Utah Spring Classic. UVU will then travel to Ogden the following day for the Weber State Invitational. Despite Friday's meet being the lone home event of the regular season, UVU will also host the 2014 WAC Outdoor Championships at the Hal Wing Track and Field on May 14-17.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.