Track and Field's Higgins Leads Four Spartans at Nationals

May 23, 2015

CANTON, N.Y. - Alexis Higgins proudly represented the University of Dubuque women's track and field team and placed 10th in the women's high jump to lead three other Spartan qualifiers at the NCAA Division III National Championships on Saturday afternoon, the final day of competition.

The junior led a cast of three other Spartan national qualifiers: Amanda Sinkler in the women's pole vault, Rick Valcin in the men's pole vault, and Tanasha Atwater in the women's shot put.

Higgins, who set the UD outdoor high jump record of 5'6.5" in winning the Iowa Conference Outdoor Championship a few weeks earlier, cleared 1.66m/5'5.25" on her third and final attempt. Her effort tied her with six others, but earned her 10th on number of misses. The Cedar Falls, Iowa native missed on three attempts to advance at her current personal best of 1.69m/5'6.5".

Sinkler, UD's outdoor pole vault record holder, cleared the opening height of 3.45m/11'3.75" on her second attempt. The freshman missed her three attempts at 3.60m/11'9.75" to finish 18th in the nation.

The Mukwonago, Wis. native placed runner up at both Iowa Conference Championship meets and set the UD outdoor record with her vault of 3.73m/12'2.75" in last week's Augustana Twilight meet that qualified her 14th nationally.

Men's pole vaulter and defending NCAA national champion, Valcin, no heighted at 4.84m/15'10.5" to end his season. The senior concluded his regular season by winning the 2015 Iowa Conference Pole Vault Championship and breaking a 25-year old IIAC Championship record with a vault of 5.20m/17'0.75".

Atwater rounded out the Spartan qualifiers with a 20th place showing in the shot put with a toss of 12.52m/41'1". The All-IIAC performer in the shot put broke UD's outdoor record earlier this year with a toss of 13.43m/44'0.75".