Higgins Wins High Jump to Lead Three All-IIAC Track and Field Performers

May 8, 2015


INDIANOLA, Iowa - Sophomore Alexis Higgins secured her first Iowa Conference Outdoor high jump title and joined fellow All-Iowa Conference performers, Tanasha Atwater and Nicole Forson, in leading the University of Dubuque women's track and field team to a fourth-place standing after day two of the conference championships.

The Spartans totaled 37.75 points and sit behind Luther (51.75), Central (56.75), and leader Wartburg (67) in the standings through seven events. With 15 events on the docket tomorrow, the standings will shake up as the meet concludes.

Higgins came through in the clutch after clearing the bar at 5'6.5"/1.69m on her third and final attempt at that height. The sophomore's attempt at 1.72m fell just short as she attempted to improve her mark in the national rankings. With her new personal record, Higgins now sits in 12th place in the nation. It was her first Iowa Conference title and improved her second-place performance in the high jump at the IIAC Indoor Championships.

"It feels great ending the conference season on a high note," added Higgins. "I still have work to do to prepare for Nationals, but this is a step in the right direction as I look forward to competing and representing UD and the Iowa Conference."

Atwater claimed her first career All-IIAC performance after placing third in the shot put with a toss of 12.96m/42'6.25" and nearly earned a second All-IIAC honor in a fourth place showing in the hammer throw (47.13m/154'7"). The freshman completed her All-IIAC shot put toss on her first attempt of the day and missed out on first place by a mere two inches. Atwater will look for more next year as both shot put competitors ahead of her will graduate. 

"It feels great to be All-Conference," exclaimed Atwater. "I know I can do better, but I put everything I had in there. I look forward to seeing what I can do as my career continues."

Forson slipped by Atwater in the hammer throw by nine inches thanks to a toss of 47.35m/155'4" to earn her second All-IIAC honor. The junior earned All-IIAC after third-place showing in the hammer throw at the 2015 Indoor Iowa Conference Championships.

"I knew big things were happening for our team and I'm excited be a part of it," said Forson. "With all the hard work and dedication that my throwing teammates and I put in, I couldn't be happier with the way things turned out!"

Senior Nickolette McKenzie just missed out on All-IIAC honors after a fourth-place showing in the long jump (5.04m/16'6.5"). McKenzie will look to defend her 2014 Outdoor Triple Jump IIAC title on Saturday.

The 4x800m relay crew of Fabiola Ortiz, Melissa Todman, Skylar Brooks, and Kiersten Wenthold placed fourth after clocking a 9:42.54. Ortiz led off with a team-best split of 2:19.00.

Sophomore Brittany Burns qualified for the 100m finals after crossing the line in 12.60 while freshman Sydney Sears earned a ticket to the 400m hurdle finals with a time of 1:06.43. It's anybody's race as the eight qualifying times in the 400m hurdles were separated by 1.58 seconds. 

UD looks to add to its point total in the final day of the IIAC Outdoor Championships starting with the field events starting tomorrow, Saturday, May 9 at 10 a.m.