Under the guidance of second-year head coach Keith Roberts Jr., Heidelberg University will have two representatives at the 2010 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships hosted by DePauw University, March 12-13.
Leading the list of qualifiers is two-time defending 55-meter national champion senior Judy Bataille (Felicity, Ohio / Felicity-Franklin), along with return long jump two-time qualifier senior Julius Higginbotham (Elyria, Ohio / Elyria).
This is familiar place for sprinter Bataille. In her previous two trips to the Championships, the results were the same - a national championship in the 55-meter dash.
Last year, Bataille entered the finals with a top qualifying time of 7.09 and went on to dominate the field with a time of 7.02 to successfully defend her 2008 championship. Her time of 7.02 was a season best for Division III and is also a Sports and Recreation Facility record at Rose-Hulman. Along with her title she earned All-American recognition.
Bataille stands second on the list with two titles, behind three-time outdoor high jump national champion Monica Scott and will look to join Scott after this weekend.
Most recently, Bataille received Fred Raizk Most Outstanding Sprint Athlete honors in 2010. She also took runner-up at the 2010 OAC Championships in the 55m Dash after crossing the line in a NCAA Automatic Qualifying and tying the school record with a time of 7.00 seconds.
Higginbotham is back in 2010 to improve on his finish in the long jump from a season ago.In 2009 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships, Higginbotham came away with a ninth place finish in the long jump and just missed being an All-American by one spot.
He looks to use his prior experience to his advantage, while going in with a humble attitude. “It’s such a blessing to be in this position to compete at Nationals,” says Higginbotham. “I have to have the mindset as it’s another meet. As a senior this is my last go around and if I compete the way I know I am capable of competing, good things will happen.”
This year, Higginbotham defended his third-straight OAC championship. He matched his season’s best with a NCAA Provisional Qualifying mark of 7.06m (23.02.).