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UVU track: Wolverines exceed expectations at UNLV Spring Invite

The Utah Valley University men's and women's track and field teams opened their seasons at the UNLV Spring Invitational on Saturday, where eight Wolverines set personal records in the first outdoor contest.

"This was a great meet for us in every event. Our athletes really opened up and felt comfortable racing in this warm climate," head coach Scott Houle said. "I am very happy with all of the personal records that were set today. I feel we had a great mark in every event. This was a great kickoff meet and we feel we have a good, strong season coming."

Leading the way for Utah Valley was Blake Adams, Brandon Yardley and Brandon Edmondson, who each raced a career best in the men's 800m. Adams finished in first place with a time of 1:51.83, while Yardley finished in third with a time of 1:52.46 and Edmondson rounded out the trio with a time of 1:54.85 while competing unattached.

The Utah Valley men's team swept the first five positions in the 200m with freshman Chase Heiner leading the pack (21.86), Jordan Peterson right behind (21.95), followed by Stetson Sartor (22.05), Tyler Liddiard (22.26) and Logan Rusch (22.71).

Gately Garnett and Maria Blad set personal records in the 100m hurdles, with Garnett racing a time of 14.51 and Blad racing a time of 14.46. Both women bettered their standings on the all-time top 10 depth charts with the marks.

Lexi Shaw won the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:03.01, and she was closely followed across the line by Mykah Heaton-Ouderkirk. Isaac Artinger finished in second place in the men's portion with a time of 57.52 seconds. Also, Cole Eisenhour made his hurdle debut for the 2016 season with a third-place finish and a time of 14.89 seconds in the 110m hurdles.

McKayla Morgan set a career record in the 5,000m race with a time of 17:29.95, good enough for third place in the event. She was chased across the line by Savannah Berry (17:45.67) for fourth place.

On the men's side, Jason Lynch secured the victory in the men's 5,000m with an impressive time of 14:34.74. Tyson Lambert earned second place in the 5K, besting his previous career-best time by 18 seconds, and found himself in seventh place in the all-time top 10 depth charts (14:36.29).

In his usual fashion, senior Nick Taylor won the 100m dash with a speedy time of 10.66 seconds. On the women's side, Alena Gillespie finished in second place in the 200m dash with a time of 24.70 seconds.

Senior standout Trac Norris won the 1500m run with a speedy time of 3:50.48, besting Southern Utah's Liam Kennell by .06 seconds.

UVU won the 4x100m relay with a time of 41.02 seconds, with a team comprised of Tyler Liddiard, Jordan Peterson, Nicholas Taylor and Stetson Sartor. The one-mile running women had an impressive grouping with Jasmine Nesbitt finishing in third place in the event with a time of 4:40.46, while Shevaun Ames finished with a time of 4:44.26 and McKenzie Snyder finished with a time of 4:54.63.

In the field, Scott Moake won the high jump with a mark of 2.05m for the senior. Aimee Wheeler moved into the all-time depth charts with a leap of 5.59m for third place in the event.

Throwing machine Daven Russell tossed the shot put for 15.93m, a near personal best, and 42.97m in the discus. Caitlin Woodward threw the javelin for 40.78m in her outdoor debut, while Yoshi Scott threw the spear for 58.83m, just short of his personal best, for third place overall. Chantil Martin finished in third place in the hammer throw with a mark of 51.46m, a personal record for the sophomore transfer.

Utah Valley will take a week off to prepare for its lone home meet of the year, the UVU Invitational, on April 1. Additionally, UVU will send qualifiers to the 89th Annual Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays from March 30-April 2, in Austin, Texas.