The Highlanders track team will send five athletes to the 2012 NAIA National Track and Field Championships at Indiana Wesleyan University, May 24-26, 2012. The three-day championship will mark the last NAIA championship for any Highlander team as Houghton continues its transition to NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Assocation). The track team is planning to leave with a memorable championship and three exciting days of racing.
Danielle Brenon will compete in her final national championship. The four time NAIA All-American compete in a very rare double, running the 10,000 meters on Thursday evening where she is ranked 8th and then returning on Saturday morning in the marathon, where she is currently the top-ranked athlete. After four years of rewriting the Highlander record books, this championship could be an emphatic exclamation mark to end her career.
Leah Williams will join Brenon in the marathon as she makes her fourth appearance in an NAIA Championship but her first in the marathon. Williams set a school record in the steeplechase, finishing fourth in the NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association), as well as winning the American Mideast Conference championship.
Two members of the men's team will also run in the marathon: David Richards will return for his third NAIA championship (first with track), while first year runner Austin Groff will make his first appearance in an NAIA championship.
Alyssa Figueroa, a first-year competitor, rewrote most of the Highlanders’ sprinting and jumping records. She will compete in the triple jump. In the past, Alyssa won the NCCAA national championship in the 60m. She will look to continue her season with the triple jump on Friday evening.