Mount Mercy signing

Clinton High senior Larissa Wilden (seated, middle) signs a letter of intent to continue her track and field career at Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids. Wilden is flanked her parents Ray and June. Also looking on are back row (from left) Mount Mercy track and field coach Ryan Scheckel and Clinton High assistant coaches Erin Hansen, Tony Steen and Lindsey Holst.

The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

CLINTON — Larissa Wilden has chosen to continue her track and field career at Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids.

The Clinton High School senior picked Mount Mercy because of the comfort level.

“I chose Mount Mercy because it was home,” Wilden said. “It felt like home and it felt close.”

Wilden enters her senior season for the River Queens hoping to qualify for the Iowa State Track and Field championships for the fourth time. Last year, as a junior, she placed 15th in the high jump and competed in four events after also qualifying as a freshman and sophomore.

Another reason Wilden chose to compete for the Mustangs was head coach Ryan Scheckel.

“I’ve heard that he is a really, really good coach,” Wilden said. “One of my former teammates goes there and she really likes it.”

The teammate that Wilden spoke of is current Mount Mercy freshman Cortni Kooi.

“She showed me around,” Wilden continued. “She really likes it there and I know a few other people there and they really like it too.”

That combined with a strong nursing program swayed Wilden towards Cedar Rapids.

“It has a really strong nursing program,” Wilden commented. “That’s what I’ve always wanted to be and I can’t see myself being anything else.”

Wilden also considered attending Luther College in Decorah.

“I looked at Luther and I liked their campus, but Decorah is too small,” Wilden said. “Mount Mercy was a better fit for me.”