CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Mount Mercy seniors Jenna Higgins, Larissa Wilden and Mwale Kapande and freshman Maryann Dike are looking for big things this week when the Mustangs compete at the 33rd Annual NAIA Outdoor Track & field National Championships in Marion, Ind.
Thursday will be a busy day, especially for Higgins, who will get things started in the heptathlon at 10:30 a.m. She enters the national meet ranked fourth in the event, which includes the 100 meter hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200 meters on Thursday and the long jump, javelin and 800 meters on Friday at 9:30 a.m. Central Time.
Higgins will join Dike, Wilden and Kapande for the preliminaries of the 4x100 meter relay on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. CT. Freshman Justine Jensen is the alternate for the Mustangs, who come in seeded 17th out of 21 teams in the event. If they advance, the finals will be on Saturday at 1:40 p.m. CT.
After the 4x100 meter relay trials, Higgins will have about an hour-and-a-half to rest up for the javelin, an event she has dominated as a Mustang. She is the favorite to win her second national championship after winning the title as a sophomore and finishing runner-up as a freshman and junior. Higgins is already a three-time all-American in the javelin and four-time all-American overall.
Kapande is another Mustang looking to repeat as an NAIA outdoor all-American. She'll compete in the long jump on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. CT. Kapande, ranked 16th this spring, finished third as a junior at the outdoor national meet and is also a two-time NAIA indoor all-American in the long jump, where she placed eighth and third the past two years.
Wilden, who enters the national meet as the sixth seed, gets a chance to become a five-time all-American on Saturday when she competes in the high jump at 1:00 p.m. CT. She was runner-up at last year's outdoor national championships and is also a three-time indoor all-American, placing fourth earlier this year and sixth as a junior. Wilden also took fifth in the pentathlon at this year's NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Click here for complete coverage of the 2013 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.