NAPERVILLE, Ill. — The Great West Conference track coaches have chosen Utah Valley as the favorite to capture both the men’s and the women’s 2012 GWC indoor track & field titles, the conference office announced Wednesday.
Utah Valley, which has finished second in both the men’s and women’s conference meets the past three years behind former GWC member South Dakota, received six first-place votes on the men’s side for a total of 48 points. Houston Baptist received the other first-place vote for a second-place total of 39 points.
North Dakota finished in third place at 34 points in the men’s voting, followed by Seattle with 29 points and Texas-Pan American with 25 points. Rounding out the preseason voting on the men’s side were NJIT with 12 points and Chicago State with nine points.
On the women’s side, Utah Valley received all seven first-place votes. North Dakota finished as the runner-up with 40 points and Houston Baptist tallied 36 points in third place. Texas-Pan American was fourth in the preseason voting with 26 points followed closely by Seattle with 24 points. Chicago State and NJIT completed the poll with 12 points and nine points, respectively.
The 2012 GWC indoor track and field champions will be determined Feb. 25-26, when Chicago State hosts the conference meet at Chicago, Ill.
The Wolverine teams will head back to Idaho to compete in the Bronco Invitational Saturday at the Idaho Center in Nampa, Idaho.
The Bronco Invitational is a one-day meet beginning at 9 a.m. with the women’s high jump and men’s pole vault. Running events begin at 10 a.m. with the mixed 800-meter run and are scheduled to finish at 3:55 p.m. with the mixed 400-meter dash.
Collegiate running evens start at 10:30 a.m. with the men’s 60-meter hurdles, while the women’s 4×400-meter relay will anchor the day at 3:40 p.m.
In addition to Utah Valley and host Boise State, Idaho, Sacramento State, Utah State, Northwest Nazarene, San Diego State (women), Nevada (women), UC Riverside, UC Irvine, College of Idaho, Treasure Valley and Westminster will compete in the event.
At the Snake River Invitational last week, UVU’s Megan Burr had a phenomenal day by placing first in the 60m (7.76 seconds); 200m (25.08) and 60m hurdles (8.92).
In addition to Burr, Zandrea Nelson had a nice meet by winning the 400m in school-record time (56.33) and placing second in the 200m (25.29).
For the men, Allah Laryea-Akrong won the 60m (6.79) and the 200m (21.93).
Along with Laryea-Akrong, Tim Rowberry (1:51.72) and Cliff Nielson (4:22.84) won the 800m and mile, respectively, and Rusty Jones won the high jump (2.00m). Rowberry’s time is a new school record.