UVU Prepares NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
Dustan Copeland | Sports Writer | @dustycopey
Last week, the UVU Track & Field team made their way out to the Air Force Academy in Colorado to compete in the WAC Indoor Track & Field Championships. Overall, the Wolverines performed at a high level. The men’s team won their first ever conference championship with 231 points in Colorado Springs. Coach Scott Houle earned WAC Coach of the Year honors, Michael McPherson won the WAC Outstanding Field Athlete Award, and the team brought home ten individual honors.
As for our women, they placed third in the championships. Sophomore Lauren Hicks placed first in the triple jump, breaking her own school record in the process. Jessica Beatty placed second in the 60 m hurdle and high jump, breaking her own school record in the hurdles with a time of 8.64 seconds. All while Wendy Stapel placed first in the pentathlon.
On the men’s side of things and as of now, Michael McPherson is ranked 17th nationally in the heptathlon. Leading the team once again McPherson is getting ready to head to the NCAA National Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas, which begin on March 13. McPherson will represent UVU alone for the second consecutive season, as he was our first NCAA Championship competitor last year.
As making the national championships was a goal of his for the season, surely he has prepared himself for such a high level of competition. It takes a lot of work to make it to this level, but it’s not like he hasn’t been there before. Last season, Out Door 2014, McPherson was the only Wolverine at the National level. It was in the heptathlon, the event that looks to have become McPherson’s forte, and can be considered one of the hardest events in Track & Field. McPherson has worked hard throughout his career at UVU and earned the opportunity to compete in the championships once again as a senior.
Unfortunately, he is also the only team member to compete in the indoor championships this season, something that he is not new to, but this will be his first in door nationals. A very high talented competitive field on a national scale placed ahead of the majority of our Wolverines.
Surely, the team will place this setback behind them and prepare for the outdoor season. After winning the Western Athletic Conversance Championships while hosting them last year, it’s somewhat apparent that the Utah Valley University Track & Field team are out door competitors. The new season begins on March 20 and at the end of it the Wolverines will be hosting the Out Door WAC Championships yet again. Here’s to hoping and rooting for them to send more then a sole athlete to the national level this coming May for the prelims and to the finals in June.