Story written by Spencer Scheve, Athletic Communications and Media Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the Alabama Gulf Shores Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Orange Beach Sports Commission has announced a two-year contract extension for the Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field National Championships. The expanded agreement is for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
The 2018 event will take place on May 24-26 and the 2019 event on May 23-25 at the Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium in Gulf Shores, Ala. This will be the 67th championship for the men's outdoor track and field and the 38th championship for the women's outdoor track and field.
“We are extremely excited to extend our contract with the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Orange Beach Sports Commission,” said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. “Gulf Shores has been a great destination for outdoor track & field. The NAIA is excited to continue the partnership to provide a top notch experience for our student-athletes, coaches, and fans.”
Gulf Shores has played host to the Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field National Championships since the 2014 season. Indiana Tech won the men's Championship in 2016, while Concordia (Neb.) won the women's side. Alabama Gulf Shores Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Orange Beach Sports Commission has also hosted the NAIA Women's Soccer National Championship since 2012.
“Being granted the extension on the NAIA Men's and Women's Outdoor Track & Field National Championships is very exciting for the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission,” says Beth Gendler, vice president of sales for the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission. “We are thrilled to be able to host this prestigious national championship for the next 2 years. We thank the NAIA for the confidence they have in our team to execute it successfully to insure a great student athlete experience.”
The Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Sports Commission is a partnership between Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism, the Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce and the cities of Gulf Shores, Ala., and Orange Beach, Ala. In 2007, this commission became a department within Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism. The goal of the organization is to bring high-quality sporting events to the Alabama Gulf Coast area.
The NAIA has sponsored the sport of men's outdoor track and field since 1952, and the women's program since 1981. Currently, 176 NAIA institutions sponsor the sport of men's outdoor track and field and there are 179 women's outdoor track and field programs. You can find a complete list of participating schools by clicking the following links: Men | Women
Since 1937, the NAIA has administered programs and championships in proper balance with the overall educational experience. In 2000, the NAIA reaffirmed its purpose to enhance the character-building aspects of sport. Through the Champions of Character program, the NAIA seeks to create an environment in which every student-athlete, coach, official and spectator is committed to the true spirit of competition through five core values: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.
To learn more about NAIA Men's outdoor track & field, click here. For more information about NAIA Women's outdoor track & field, click here.
To learn more about the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Sports Commission, click here.