Spring semester is now in session and WAC winter sports has hit its midway point. There have been successes and questionable disappointment seen throughout the first two full weeks of conference play. As a result, the question needs to be asked: Who’s been a winner, who’s been a loser and who’s been improving?
Lynch recently finished up his final cross country season in 2019, a year where he dominated statistically. He ended the WAC season repeating in the 8K race at the WAC Championships and took home WAC Men’s Athlete of the Year honors for the second consecutive season. His victory helped the men’s team win the championship for the fifth time in seven years.
Anyone who has followed Utah Valley athletics this season knows that the men’s basketball team has a completely new look. The departure of head coach Mark Pope to Brigham Young University and the subsequent transfers of three players that followed him — as well as graduated seniors and other transfers — left many open positions on the roster.
Utah Valley University track and field came into the Brigham Young University indoor invite on Jan. 9-11, with two things in mind. First, to compete against their rival in-state universities and second, to get a good idea of how things could shape up this indoor track season. The Wolverines accomplished both, leaving no doubt that the team has been working hard over the holiday season.
The Redhawks took advantage of the Wolverines’ lack of perimeter shooting early on as they took a 10-1 lead in the first four minutes of play. Back-to-back fast break scores by SU put them up by 17 points with 11 minutes left — UVU wouldn’t get within 17 points the rest of the game.
Following a big win at Chicago State in their WAC opener, the Utah Valley men’s basketball team traveled to Kansas City to take on the Kansas City ‘Roos on Saturday, Jan. 4. UMKC came into the game undefeated in the Swinney Center, having won all five games played in their home arena. The Wolverines were unable to overcome a slow start to the night and fell to the ‘Roos, 68-63.
Utah Valley men’s basketball took to the Windy City to open up WAC play in 2020. The Chicago State Cougars played host on Thursday, Jan. 2, and welcomed in a very hot shooting performance by the Wolverines. UVU shot 61.4% from the floor and 52.9% from behind the arc on their way to a 94-73 win.
“This group gets along with each other, they spend time together away from the court and away from the locker room,” said Madsen. “I think when you have that type of synergy across players it doesn’t surprise me that we had four guys in double figures…there’s no selfishness in that locker room…I’m proud of these guys and we’re excited heading into the conference.”
The Wolverines have struggled this season in close games, having lost five games decided by six points or less. Most recently, they fell at home by six points when they played Northern Arizona on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the UCCU Center. Conversely, UW has lost six games by at least double-digits.
It has been nearly seven months to the day that the Utah Valley University track and field teams won the WAC championship on the men’s side and took second for the women. With another championship in mind, the team ventured to Weber State University on Dec. 6-7, to commence their indoor season. Though the meet wasn’t scored, the Wolverines showed some great potential on both the men’s and women’s teams.