MARION, Ind. -- (Results - PDF) The 2012 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships are in the books at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana. Shorter (Ga.) defended their men's championship while Oklahoma Baptist women finally earned their first national title.
Shorter won the men's title in much easier fashion than a year ago, when they edged Doane (Neb.) by a 66-59 score. This year, Shorter scored 93 points for a 24 point victory. Azusa Pacific (Calif.) was runner-up with 69 points while Wayland Baptist (Texas), the 2010 champion, was third with 67 points.
The Oklahoma Baptist women finally were able to hoist the championship banner after three consecutive years of being so close. Oklahoma Baptist has finished runner-up the past three years, including a one point loss two years ago. Oklahoma Baptist scored 101.5 points to outdistance Concordia (Ore.) which finished at 81 points.
The two head coaches of the national championship teams were honored after the meet as NAIA Coaches of the Year. Scott Byrd of Shorter was named NAIA Men's Coach of the Year while Ford Mastin was honored as the NAIA Women's Coach of the Year.
Four student-athletes were also chosen for recognition during the awards ceremony. The first two were Silas Kisorio of Oklahoma Christian and Crystal Bardge of Embry-Riddle (Fla.), who were named the NAIA Men's and Women's Outstanding Performers of the Championship Meet. The award is performance-based from the national meet. Kisorio won a pair of national championship on Saturday in the 800-Meter Run (1:47.98) and finished with a new meet record in the 1,500-Meter Run in 3:41.39. Bardge paced Embry-Riddle with two All-American finishes. She took second place today in the 400-Meter Hurdles (57.91 seconds) after winning the 100-Meter Hurdles on Friday.
The final two awards were the NAIA Most Valuable Performer of the Championship Meet, where the student-athlete is chosen with the most points scored. Kennedy Kithuka of Wayland Baptist was the men's award winner while Juray Levy of Oklahoma Baptist was the women's winner. Kithuka scored 28 points with wins in the 5,000-Meter Run (14:04.72) today and the 10,000-Meter Run on Thursday, plus a second place finish in the 1,500-Meter Run today. Levy swept the sprints with Friday's 100-Meter Dash victory and today's 200-Meter Dash (23.26) championship. She also led Oklahoma Baptist to two relay championships on Saturday in the 4x100-Meter Relay (44.46) and the 4x400-Meter Relay (3:35.46) as Levy finished with 25 points for the meet.
Opening up competition on Saturday was the Marathon at 6 a.m. through the streets of Marion. Daniel Tubei of Park (Mo.) was the first runner across the finish line in 2:24:56. The first woman to finish the 26.2 mile race was Danielle Brenon of Houghton (N.Y.). Brenon ran a time of 2:48.34.
Eight other national champions were crowned on Saturday in the men's meet. The three field event national champions were Eric Whalen of Concordia (Ore.) in the Shot Put with a throw of 18.47-meters/60 feet 7.25 inches, Igor Morales of Indiana Tech in the Pole Vault at a height of 5.05-meters/16-6.75 feet, and Ethan DeJongh of Fresno Pacific (Calif.) in the Triple Jump with a distance of 16.13-meters/52-11 feet.
On the track, three additional individual championships were raced. Remontay McClain of Azusa Pacific won his second title this weekend with a win in the 200-Meter Dash (20.77), Randall Dameron of Shorter was first in the 400-Meter Dash (45.95), and Sean Lewis of Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) won the 400-Meter Hurdles.
Shorter added a victory in the 4x100-Meter Relay in a time of 39.80 seconds while Wayland Baptist won the final race with a time of 3:08.46 in the 4x400-Meter Relay.
Eight additional women's titles were claimed on Saturday. On the track, Lauren Moran of Concordia (Ore.) won the 3,000-Meter Steeplechase (11:11.63), Hillary Hold of College of Idaho placed first in the 1,500-Meter Run (4:30.10), Nikita Tracey of Oklahoma Baptist earned the championship in the 400-Meter Hurdles (57.33), Verone Chambers of Oklahoma Baptist won the 400-Meter Dash (52.28), Junia Limage of Concordia (Ore.) took the win in the 800-Meter Run (2:07.10), and Lauren Jimison of Azusa Pacific won her second distance title of the meet with a 5,000-Meter Run (17:28.34) championship.
Two field events also crowned champions on Saturday. Mariah Toussaint of Midland (Neb.) won the High Jump with a height of 1.73-meters/5-8 feet while Gabriella Dixson of Concordia (Ore.) won the Discus with a mark of 52.74-meters/173-0 feet.
Saturday was the warmest of the hot three day championship meet. Temperatures were above 90-degrees with light winds and some cloud coverage.