May 29, 2014
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Utah Valley University track & field athletes Michael McPherson and Kyler Sprague did not advance in their respective events at the 2014 NCAA West Preliminaries on Thursday as they placed 44th and 46th.
McPherson, a junior from Parker, Colorado, topped out at 6.66-meters or 21'-10.25" in the men's long jump to earn his 44th-place finish in the event while Sprague, a freshman from Kaysville, Utah, took 46th in the 400m hurdles with a time of 54.21 seconds.
McPherson posted his best jump in his first attempt of the field event as he also recorded marks of 6.52m (21'-04.75") and 6.58m (21'-07.25") en route to taking 10th in his flight. The appearance marked McPherson's second straight trip at the NCAA West Regional as the UVU junior also competed at the same meet in both the long jump and the 200m dash a year ago.
In his first NCAA Preliminary action, Sprague started strong in the hurdles by posting a time of 22.65 seconds through five hurdles but he soon ran out of steam as he finished ninth in his heat.
Despite being eliminated in the long jump on Thursday, McPherson will compete at the NCAA Championships as he previously punched his ticket in the decathlon with 7,401 total points at the WAC Championships. The Wolverine multi-event specialist, who ranks 20th nationally in the decathlon, becomes UVU's first track athlete to earn a guaranteed spot in the finals that will be held June 11-14 in Eugene, Oregon.
Four more Wolverines will look to qualify for the NCAA Championships on Friday, as they will take to the track at the West Prelims. Sophomore Scott Moake
and freshman Ryle Williams
will both compete in the men's high jump at 5 p.m. CT while sophomore Trac Norris
and senior Brooke Hodson-Davies
will run in the men's and women's 3000m steeplechases at 8:50 and 9:30 p.m. CT, respectively.
The 2014 NCAA West Prelims will conclude on Saturday and are being contested at Arkansas' John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville.