By Josh Gleason, NAIA Media Coordinator
GENEVA, Ohio - (Complete results) The Oklahoma Baptist women successfully defended their team title, while the Indiana Tech men earned their first-ever indoor title at the 2014 NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships at SPIRE Institute Saturday.
The Oklahoma Baptist women set a new NAIA record by winning their sixth national championship all-time having won four in the last five years. The Bison tallied 133 points, edging out Indiana Tech (123) for the second-straight year. In the men’s event, Indiana Tech scored 82 points, beating out Wayland Baptist (Texas) by 13 points.
There were 11 men’s and women’s national championships records set, three schools posted their first-ever individual national championship and 13 individuals or relay teams were repeat winners from a year ago. The team championship coaches for both teams were named NAIA Coach of the Year: Ford Mastin of Oklahoma Baptist for the women and Doug Edgar of Indiana Tech for the men.
Both teams benefitted from big individual point performances. Oklahoma Baptist sophomore Akela Jones racked up 58 points alone, winning titles in the pentathlon, long jump, 60-meter hurdles and high jump. She set a total of five NAIA National Championship meet records on the way to her second-straight Most Valuable Performer honors. Indiana Tech’s Dontaey Paige raced to victories in both the 60 meters and 200 meters and was named the Men’s Most Valuable Performer.
“Everyone had a role to play, we had the four girls we thought would rack up big points, but we needed every point,” Mastin explained. “Our team is a relay team and it takes 12 runners who all work hard for those spots. We had some other really good performances too and so I think everyone felt like they contributed. Two years ago, we lost by half a point, so when everyone plays their role it is really exciting.”
Behind Jones’ four titles, two by Jura Levy, two by Hannah Helker and the title by the 4x800 relay team, the Oklahoma Baptist women racked up at least six individual titles for the third-straight year. In all, their nine individual titles in one event set an all-time NAIA record. Levy won her third-consecutive championship in both the 200 meters (23.59) and the 60 meters (7.35). Jones and Levy become the first Oklahoma Baptist competitors with six career championships and join just six previous NAIA participants who have racked up at least six in their careers.
The Indiana Tech men had five individual champions, the most titles in a single men’s event since Wayland Baptist had a NAIA record eight in 2012. It was the program’s first indoor team title, but the Warriors were coming off a 2013 Outdoor National Championship.
“It made us really hungry for what we knew we could accomplish,” Edgar explained. “We knew we had the potential points to pull it off, but it was a huge confidence boost to get that outdoor title last year.”
Concordia's (Ore.) Darien Moore was selected as the Harry Gill Outstanding Performer after winning titles in the weight throw (67’0”) and the shot put (59’ 7 ½”). College of Idaho’s Hillary Holt was the recipient of the Women’s Outstanding Performer after defending her national title in the mile (4:49.62), taking the 800 meter championship in 2:09.08, and helping the Coyotes to a second-straight championship in the distance medley relay (11:41.57).
“We had some ups and downs in the meet where we didn’t score where we thought we would, but to come here and get third place as a team with just 10 athletes is really special,” Holt said while keeping the focus on her team despite her individual accolades. “I am really glad to be a part of it. I came here last year and did some pretty awesome stuff, but this year was so much better because of how we performed as a team.”
In other record-breaking performances on Saturday – the final day of the three-day event – Southern Oregon successfully defended its distance medley relay title with a new championship record of 9:47.60. Westmont's (Calif.) Elysia Hodges also set a new NAIA championship mark in the 600 meters (1:30.49).
The event was hosted by SPIRE Institute for the fourth-straight year. The official list of the 2014 All-Americans will be announced on Monday, March 10.
Harry Gill Men's Outstanding Performer (Selected by the Games Committee)
Darien Moore – Concordia (Ore.)
Women's Outstanding Performer (Selected by Games Committee)
Hillary Holt – College of Idaho
Men's Most Valuable Performer (based on total points scored in competition)
Dontaey Paige – Indiana Tech
Women's Most Valuable Performer (based on total points scored in competition)
Akela Jones – Oklahoma Baptist
Women's Coach of the Year (voted on by coaches)
Ford Mastin – Oklahoma Baptist
Men's Coach of the Year (voted on by coaches)
Doug Edgar – Indiana Tech
Records broken during 2014 NAIA National Championships
• Akela Jones, Oklahoma Baptist – Women’s Pentathlon – 4,153 points – Thursday
• Akela Jones, Oklahoma Baptist – Women’s Pentathlon (60-Meter Hurdles) – 8.43 – Thursday
• Akela Jones, Oklahoma Baptist – Women’s Pentathlon (Long Jump) – 6.01 (19’8 ¾”) – Thursday
• Akela Jones, Oklahoma Baptist – Women’s Pentathlon (High Jump) – 1.83 (6’0”) – Thursday
• Kale Wolken, Doane (Neb.) – Men’s Heptathlon (60-Meter Dash) – 7.05 *tied – Thursday
• Kale Wolken, Doane (Neb.) – Men’s Heptathlon (Long Jump) – 7.23 (23’8 ¾”) – Thursday
• Austin Basterrechea, College of Idaho – Men’s Heptathlon (1,000) – 2:34.54 – Friday
• Cody Risch, Cornerstone (Mich.) – 3,000 Meter Race Walk – 11:57.96 – Friday
• Akela Jones, Oklahoma Baptist – 60-Meter Hurdles – 8.31 – Saturday
• Elysia Hodges, Westmont (Calif.) – 600 Meters – 1:30.49 – Saturday
• Southern Oregon – Distance Medley Relay – 9:47.60 – Saturday
Institutions to record first-ever national championships individual title - men's history
• Davenport (Mich.) – Tori Brooks, High Jump (2.09, 6’10 ¼”)
• Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) – Sam Atkin, 3000 Meters (8:18.36)
Institutions to record first-ever national championships individual title - women's history
• Carroll (Mont.) – Rhianna Grossman, 3,000 Meters (9:48.26)
Individuals/Relay Teams to repeat as national champions - men's history
• Darien Moore, Concordia (Ore.) – Weight Throw – 20.42 Meters (67’0”)
• Southern Oregon – Distance Medley Relay – 9:47.60
• Easton Padden, Carroll (Mont.) – Pole Vault – 5.10 Meters (16’8 ¾”)
• Wayland Baptist (Texas) – 4x800 Relay – 3:14.39
Individuals/Relay Teams to repeat as national champions - women's history
• Hillary Holt, College of Idaho – Mile – 4:49.62
• Jura Levy, Oklahoma Baptist – 60-Meter Dash – 7.35
• Hannah Helker, Oklahoma Baptist – 1,000 Meters – 2:46.91
• Akela Jones, Oklahoma Baptist – Long Jump – 6.26 (20’6 ½”)
• Jura Levy, Oklahoma Baptist – 200 Meters – 23.59
• Hannah Helker, Oklahoma Baptist – 5,000 Meters – 17:18.36
• College of Idaho – Distance Medley Relay – 11:41.57
• Indiana Tech – 4x400 Relay – 3:40.23
• Akela Jones, Oklahoma Baptist – High Jump – 1.78 Meters (5’10”)