May 24, 2008
Azusa Pacific trailed by just two points heading into the final day of competition, but was bolstered by the performance on Saturday of senior Aron Rono. He won the 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter races on Saturday - in addition to taking the 10,000-meter run on Thursday -- on his way to being named the NAIA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Most Valuable Performer. The Cougars won a close race by collecting 61 points, three more than runner-up Dickinson State University (N.D.).
"This was a great year for us, both indoor and outdoor," said Azusa Pacific head coach Kevin Reid, who was named the 2008 NAIA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year. "Rono was outstanding for us, but we were consistent across the board. The guys dug out the 2002 uniforms (the last time the Cougars won indoor and outdoor in the same year) and performed well. The seniors have their indoor championship rings and wanted an outdoor one to go with it."
Wayland Baptist was tied for the team lead after Friday's events, but had climb out of an early hole when the
"This is a great feat for us to accomplish (winning the indoor and outdoor titles) and I'm proud of our effort," said 2008 NAIA Women's Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year Brian Whitlock from Wayland Baptist. "It was a team effort all around, but Kim in the sprints, and Caroline (Karunde) in the distance races really stood out."
Ruky Abdulai from Simon Fraser was the women's Most Valuable Performer. Abdulai won three events at the meet, including the triple jump, high jump and high jump. She was also second in the 400-meter dash and was a member Simon Fraser's 4 x 100-meter relay team that took third.
The NAIA also awards the Outstanding Performer Award to a male and female athlete whose individual event results are exemplary. The men's winner from the 2008 meet was Michael Mason from
Annie Hess from
Other highlights from Saturday included two new NAIA championship meet records. In the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase, Dallon Williams from California State University-San Marcos pulled away for a time of 10:18.96 to top the old mark of 10:32.63 established by Andrea Mohr from
Individually, there were four NAIA repeat national champions crowned on Saturday. Abdulai led the way with her third straight high jump title. Her winning effort was 1.75 meters (five feet, 8 ¾ inches). Other women claiming back-to-back NAIA championships include Sherene Pinnock of
On the men's side, Lindenwood University's Illiyan Chamov grabbed his second consecutive triple jump title with a distance of 14.93 meters (48 feet, 11 ¾ inches). In the men's 200-meter finals, Tyrell Cuffy of
Oklahoma Baptist won its fourth consecutive NAIA national championship in the women's 4 x 400-meter relay. The Bison covered the course in a time of 3:42.11. In the women's 4 x 100-meter relay, Wayland Baptist earned its second title in as many years. The Pioneers matched their winning effort from 2007 with a time of 46.21 seconds.
For a complete list of winners from the 2008 NAIA Men's and Women's Track and Field National Championships, please visit the NAIA website at www.naia.org.
NAIA RECORDS BROKEN - DAY THREE
EVENT INDIVIDUAL INSTITUTION RECORD
3,000-m steeplechase Dallon Williams
5,000-meter run Allisa McKaig Indiana Institute of Technology 16:39.04