Mount Mercy News
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Track & Field - Fri, Mar. 4, 2011
GENEVA, Ohio -- Mount Mercy seniors Beth Ripperger and Kelsey Hansen and junior Jacqueline Kane all reached the finals in their respective events on Friday at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships at the GaREAT Sports Complex.

Ripperger shattered her own school record in the mile run, crossing the finish line in 5:02.63. It beat her previous standard, which was 5:11.37 set at this winter's Midwest Collegiate Conference Indoor Championships, and was the fifth-fastest time in a field of 13 competitors. Ripperger entered the national meet seeded 12th. Obsie Birru of Grand View topped the field with a time of 5:00.25. The finals in the mile are Saturday at 11:25 a.m. Central Time.

Hansen, who came into the national meet seeded 21st in the weight throw, surpassed her own school record as well on the way to a seventh-place finish in the finals. Her toss of 54'-3 3/4" was two-and-a-half feet longer than her previous best (51'-9") at the Viking Throws Fest in December. Denise Mattoon of Oklahoma Christian was the national champion with a throw of 61'-8 1/4".

Kane also blazed to the finals in the 600 meter run. She came to nationals as the ninth seed in the event, but recorded the fifth-fastest time of the preliminaries. Kane was third in the second heat in the prelims with a time of 1:35.20, which bettered her own school record by more than two seconds. Brianna Kane of Simon Fraser (B.C.) had the fastest time of the day in the 600 meters (1:33.90). The finals are Saturday at 12:05 p.m.

Sophomore Jenna Higgins competed in the 60 meter dash earlier in the day, running sixth in the second heat of the preliminaries this afternoon. She ran the fourth-best time in school history (:07.97) and ended up 23rd overall after coming in seeded 25th.

The women's distance medley relay team of junior Kara Danielsen, Higgins, Kane, and Ripperger set a school record on Thursday night. They arrived at nationals as the 24th seed, but were 15th out of 32 teams after the prelims with a time of 12:22.91. They sped to a new school mark by nearly 18 seconds, bettering their own record of 12:40.37 set by the same group at the UNI-Dome Open three weeks ago