Track & field counts seven all-Americans

It was another banner year for the Mount Mercy track & field programs, which counted four all-Americans at the NAIA indoor national meet and three more at the outdoor national championships. Juniors Jenna Higgins, Larissa Wilden and Mwale Kapande were all-Americans at both national championship events, while junior Jacqueline Kane was a repeat honoree in the 600 meter run at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.  Kane, who was fifth at the 2011 indoor championships, finished fourth this spring in 1:34.59.

Also at the indoor meet, Higgins took sixth in the 60 meter dash with a school-record time of :07.62 for her third career all-America honor. She also shattered her own school mark while finishing 22nd in the 200 meter dash (:25.42). Kapande placed eighth in the long jump while breaking her own school mark with a leap of 18′-3″ on her final attempt. Like Higgins, Wilden competed in a pair of events. She broke the school record in the 60 meter hurdles while placing 19th in :09.30. Wilden then earned all-America honors in the high jump with a top leap of 5′-3 ¾”, which was good for sixth place.

At the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in Marion, Ind., Higgins became Mount Mercy’s first four-time all-American with a runner-up performance in the javelin (148′-5″). She was an outdoor all-American in the javelin in 2010, won the national championship in the event in 2011 and took sixth in the 60 meter dash at the 2012 indoor national meet. Higgins also reached the finals of the 100 meter dash and took ninth at this year’s outdoor championships.

Mwale Kapande hits the sand in the long jump competition at the NAIA indoor national meet.

Kapande placed third in the nation in the long jump with a school-record leap of 19′-7″ in the finals. Wilden became Mount Mercy’s third all-American by taking second place in the high jump. She tied a personal best with a height of 5′-6″, helping the Mustangs to their highest team finish ever at nationals. Mount Mercy was 11th with 19.75 points.