No one involved with the Utah Valley University athletic program would be anywhere close to being satisfied with where the Wolverines are at right now -- but they have to be pretty excited about the overall direction.
UVU took more significant steps toward being a force in college sports during the past 12 month, including getting national attention on a couple of occasions.
Here’s a look back at the Top 10 moments for the Wolverines in 2017:
10. UVU track star Jason Lynch enjoys record-setting season
Jason Lynch shattered his own Utah Valley men's track and field record in the 10,000-meter race at the Portland Track Festival hosted by Lewis and Clark College on June 10. Lynch finished with a time of 29:07.36 to top his previous program best by 31.39 seconds.
Lynch's new 10K mark comes on the heels of his record-breaking year for the Wolverines, as he also became the program's record holder in the men's outdoor 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter during his senior season.
9. Tyson Lambert caps impressive cross country career with trip to NCAA finals
Lambert posted the program's all-time second highest finish in the 10K at the national championships with a personal record of 30:46.52. In the final 2,000 meters of the race, Lambert made a late push to move up 11 spots and cross the finish line in the top-half of the pack among 250 runners competing for the ultimate prize.
Lambert helped the Wolverines to three straight WAC titles in the squad's first three seasons as a member of the conference. This past season, he finished as runner-up at the 2017 WAC Championships and guided UVU to a second-place finish in the team standings.
8. Wolverine men’s soccer starts season with upset of No. 13 Akron in front of record crowd
UVU had some ups and downs during the 2017 season but the highlight came in the first game. Giovanny Vazquez converted a header in the 54th minute as the Wolverines -- then ranked No. 16, knocked off 13th-ranked Akron, 1-0, at Clyde Field on Aug. 25 in front of a record crowd of 4,351 fans.
That would turn out to be Vazquez’s only goal of the season. Senior Paul Hoffmeister led UVU with five goals on the year.
7. UVU women’s basketball uses dramatic comeback to get second WAC tournament win in history
Junior Mariah Seals scored a game-high 22 points while juniors Sam Lubcke and Taylor Gordon each tallied a double-double for Utah Valley, as the Wolverines overcame a fourth-quarter deficit for a 59-53 overtime victory over CSU Bakersfield in the WAC tournament quarterfinals in Las Vegas on March 8..
Along with Seals' offensive performance, Lubcke added 19 points and 10 rebounds alongside Gordon's 10-point, 11-rebound effort to help UVU complete a comeback after trailing by seven with 7:06 remaining in regulation. The victory gives Utah Valley's second WAC tournament win in program history and advanced the squad into the WAC semifinals for the second straight year.
6. Wolverine women’s soccer wins WAC title, reaches NCAA tournament
The UVU needed a dramatic finish to get the 2017 WAC women’s soccer tournament title. Trailing Seattle 1-0 in the final minute of regulation, Wolverine Breanna McCarter passed the ball into the box where Siri Dahl got a foot on it to score her first career UVU goal to tie the game, 1-1, and force the match into overtime.
The Wolverines went on to win 3-1 in penalty kicks to earn the team's second WAC tournament title in the last three years and a trip to the NCAA tournament, where UVU lost in the first round to eventual national-champion Stanford.
5. Wolverines open new NUVI basketball practice facility
UVU players had been using the new facilities since it was possible but it wasn’t until Sept. 12 that the university had the official opening of the NUVI Basketball Center, a new practice and conditioning building to house its men's and women's basketball teams.
The 14,500-square-foot facility was funded entirely by private donations and sponsorships totaling approximately $4.4 million, including a lead donation from NUVI chairman and CEO Keith Nellesen.
4. UVU men’s basketball hosts BYU for first time, sells out UCCU Center
There’s nothing like a Crosstown Clash to fill the seats.
The Nov. 29 home game against BYU marked the first visit to Orem ever by the Cougars, which also was the first sellout in Utah Valley's Division I era, with the final announced attendance being 7,574.
Fans packed the UCCU Center but the Wolverine crowd ended up disappointed as BYU ran away with the 85-58 victory.
3. Former UVU soccer player Matt Gay wins Lou Groza award at Utah
It’s rare that the Wolverines get to celebrate football success but 2017 was an anomaly in that regard.
Gay chose to walk on at Utah as a kicker after playing soccer at UVU in 2014 and 2016. He went on win the starting job and to have an incredible season.
He lead the nation in most major kicking categories, including a school-record 27 field goals, field goals per game (2.25), field goal attempts (31) and 50-yard field goals (5). He has made 87 percent of his attempts. Those efforts resulted in Gay winning the 2017 Lou Groza award, given to the best placekicker in the nation.
2. Taylor LaMont leads solid wrestling year by winning division at prestigious Cliff Keen wrestling tournament
The wrestling world didn’t expect much from the Wolverine redshirt freshman heading into one of the big tournaments of the season but LaMont quickly stole the show.
LaMont, seeded eighth, went 6-0, including four wins over ranked opponents. He defeated No. 9 Drew Mattin of Michigan in an 8-5 dual, defeated No. 1 seed and returning NCAA finalist Ethan Lizak of Minnesota in a 4-3, beat No. 5 seed Connor Schram from Stanford in a 4-3 decision and closed it out with a 4-3 victory over No. 3 seed Sean Russell of Edinboro.
He was named named the NCAA Wrestling, USA Wrestling, FloWrestling, and Big 12 Conference Wrestler of the Week.
That wasn’t the only wrestling success. Two other wrestlers enjoyed NCAA tournament runs earlier in 2017 as Dustin Dennison and Tanner Orndorff both reached the biggest event of the season.
1. UVU men’s basketball gets national attention for “Toughest 24” trip, including scaring Kentucky
Utah Valley embarked on what might be considered the toughest 24 hours of basketball ever played in NCAA history as the team officially opened the season at No. 4/5 Kentucky on Nov. 10 and at consensus No. 1 Duke on Nov. 11.
The Wolverines went into the game at Kentucky unintimidated, leading the Wildcats by as many as 12 points in the second half. Kentucky, however, got a big 18 point run and ended up winning 73-63.
UVU had a tougher time the next night at Duke as the Blue Devils rolled to the 99-69 win.
The two games were a homecoming for two UVU coaches. Head coach Mark Pope, who as a player helped the Wildcats to a national title in 1996 under head coach Rick Pitino, while UVU assistant coach Chris Burgess who played for the Blue Devils for two seasons from 1997-99.
UVU baseball stadium renamed UCCU Ballpark … Blair Bursey leads Wolverine men’s golf, earns all-WAC first team honors … UVU head women's golf coach Dr. Sue Nyhus won the Utah Women's Senior Amateur Championship for the third time in four years … sophomore Ana Raga placed second overall while freshman Justine Lauer tied for fourth at the 2017 WAC women’s golf championship … softball proves tough to beat at home, finishes with 11-3 record in Orem … Seniors Madison Dennison and Lexi Thompson led the way by both earning first team all-conference volleyball honors, while freshman Kristen Allred was named to the league's all-freshman team.