By Chad Waller | NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
MARION, Ind. - (Schedule) (Live Scoring) The NAIA Men's and Women's Outdoor Track & Field National Championships will get underway on Thursday and last through Saturday in Marion, Ind. The event is being hosted on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University for the third-consecutive year. The men are competing in the 61st annual national championships and the women are highlighted in their 32nd annual event.
There will be video recaps throughout the event, courtesy of the championship hosts and WIWU-TV. Click here for more information.
Shorter (Ga.) will defend the men's team title after winning the trophy for the first time in 2011. The Hawks narrowly defeated Doane (Neb.) by a 66-59 margin.
2011 Herbert B. Marett Outstanding Performer Ethan Dejongh of Fresno Pacific (Calif.) is back for the Sunbirds. He will compete in both the Long Jump and Triple Jump. Brijesh Lawrence of Doane is a competitor to keep your eye on. The junior will compete in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 4x100-meter relays. Lawrence earned the most total points scored during the 2011 championship and was honored with the Most Valuable Performance.
The 2011 women's team championship was won by Concordia (Ore.) for the first time in history. The Cavaliers defeated second-place Oklahoma Baptist by 16.5 points (86 - 69.5). The Bison have a run of second-place for three-straight years heading into this year's event.
Oklahoma Baptist, who had five-straight runners win the NAIA Track Athlete of the Week award during the course of the outdoor season, dominates the short-distance track events. Jura Levy is ranked first in the 100-meters, Verone Chambers is tops on the prelim sheet for the 400-meters and Levy is second on the 200-meter list. In addition, the 4x100-meter relay, 4x400-meter relay and 4x800-meter relay events all have the Bison ranked No. 1.
Over 1,000 student-athletes from all over the country and Canada will be taking part in sprints, distance races, throws and jumps. The event begins with women's field events at 10 a.m. EDT and then the men's decathlon at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.
Click here for more information on the National Championships, including live scoring.