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Azusa Pacific Women, Wayland Baptist Men Claim Track and Field National Championships

May 29, 2010

May 29, 2010

MARION, Ind. -- Azusa Pacific (Calif.) women won the national championship in the closest women's meet ever while Wayland Baptist (Texas) men captured their first national title in program history at the 30th Annual Women's and 59th Annual Men's NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana.

In the women's meet, Azusa Pacific edged Oklahoma Baptist for the national championship 61-60. Oklahoma Baptist is the first women's runner-up to finish one point or less behind the winner at the national meet. In 2001, Doane (Neb.) and Life (Ga.) shared the title with 59 points apiece. The team title for Azusa Pacific is the fourth in program history (2003, 2004, 2007). Simon Fraser (B.C.) was a close third place with 56 points and Shorter (Ga.) was fourth with 51 points.

Wayland Baptist earns their first banner with 70 points, outdistancing runner-up Dickinson State (N.D.) with 51 points. Previously, Wayland Baptist had finished as high as second place in the national championship with runner-up finishes from 1985-87. Dickinson State ends the meet in second place for the fourth consecutive year and has now placed in the top-two every year since 2003.

A total of 25 events crowned national championships on Saturday.

Opening the final day of competition was the Men's and Women's Marathon at 6 a.m. ET. The Master's (Calif.) senior Jeff Jackson claimed the win in the Men's Marathon with a time of 2:31:44.30 to win by 1:30 while Black Hills State (S.D.) senior Wendy O'Lexey won her second straight Women's Marathon in a time of 2:57:59.01. O'Lexey defeated the field by 7:32.

Five field events were contested on Saturday.

Biola (Calif.) junior Natasha Miller won her second consecutive Women's High Jump with a height of 1.80-meters (5-10.75). The win was her second of the national meet as she claimed the victory in the Women's Heptathlon on Friday. Winning the other women's field event on Saturday was Southwest (N.M.) senior Melesia MaFile-o-Blackwill with a throw of 47.40-meters (155-6) in the Women's Discus.

Concordia (Calif.) sophomore Nick Robinson finished first in the Men's Shot Put with a toss of 18.38-meters (60-3.75). Culver-Stockton (Mo.) freshman Stefanos Koufidis won the title in the Men's Pole Vault at 5.15-meters (16-10.75) while Fresno Pacific (Calif.) freshman Eugene Vollmer captured the championship in the Men's Triple Jump with a distance of 15.29-meters (50-2).

Shorter (Ga.) sophomore Justyna Mudy captured the national championship in the Women's 3,000-Meter Steeplechase for the second straight year in a time of 10:23.75. Senior Zach Ripley from Cornerstone (Mich.) won the Men's 3,000-Meter Steeplechase in 8:57.17.

Mudy crossed the line first in the Women's 5,000-Meter Run in a time of 17:19.81 to capture her second national championship of the day. Simon Fraser (B.C.) junior Jessica Smith won the Women's 1,500-Meter Run in 4:27.78 while her teammate sophomore Helen Crofts won the Women's 800-Meter run in 2:07.49.

In men's distance events on Saturday afternoon, Oklahoma Christian sophomore Silas Kisorio doubled up with a win in the Men's 1,500-Meter title in 3:48.49 while also capturing the Men's 800-Meter Run for the second straight year in a time of 1:49.27. Wayland Baptist (Texas) freshman Kennedy Kithuka won the 5,000-Meter Run in 13:56.82 to add that national championship to his other one he earned Thursday in the Men's 10,000-Meter Run.

The 400-Meter Hurdles saw a pair of champions defend their title. Dickinson State (N.D.) senior Allan Ayala capture his third consecutive championship in the Men's 400-Meter Hurdles in a time of 50.69 seconds while Oklahoma Baptist sophomore Verone Chambers defended her Women's 400-Meter Hurdles title in 58.60 seconds.

Chambers also teamed with Marissa Moseley, Shondia Drew and Gayon Evans to lay claim to the Women's 4 x 100-Meter Relay championship for Oklahoma Baptist in a time of 45.47 seconds. Moseley also won the Women's 400-Meter Dash for the third straight season with a time of 53.54 seconds.

Union (Ky.) won the national title in the Men's 4 x 100-Meter Relay as they crossed the line in 40.41 seconds. Armond Smith won his second event of the meet (Men's 110-Meter Hurdles) in joining Marekus Smith, James Fowler and Santraz Andrews in the relay win.

Voorhees (S.C) junior Jeffrey Pendergrass captured the Men's 200-Meter Dash national championship with a time of 20.88 seconds while Dickinson State senior Sean Pickstock won the Men's 400-Meter Dash as he crossed the finish line in 46.25 seconds.

The final event of the NAIA National Championship was the 4 x 400-Meter Relays. Oklahoma Baptist earned the victory in the Women's 4 x 400-Meter Relay for the fifth straight year with Moseley, Sarah Patterson, Drew and Evans. The victory was the third of the day of Moseley and the second for Drew and Evans.

Oklahoma Baptist completed the sweep in the event as Roman Gray, Ethan Mignard, Seagram Kern and Pierien Iniss won the Men's 4 x 400-Meter Relay in 3:09.41. Two coaches and four individuals were presented honors during the post-meet Awards Ceremony.

Wayland Baptist head coach Brian Whitlock was named NAIA National Coach of the Year for Men's Outdoor Track and Field while Azusa Pacific head coach Mike Barnett was chosen as NAIA National Coach of the Year for Women's Outdoor Track and Field.

Outstanding Performer awards were presented to one male and one female student-athlete whose individual event results were exemplary. Kennedy Kithuka from Wayland Baptist was chosen for the Men's Outstanding Performer for being a double national champion in the Men's 5,000-Meter Run and the Men's 10,000-Meter Run. For the women, Justyna Mudy repeats as Women's Outstanding Performer following national championship wins in the Women's 3,000-Meter Steeplechase and the Women's 5,000-Meter Run.

The final two individual honors were the Most Valuable Performers which are given to one male and one female based on total points scored in the national meet. This year Silas Kisorio from Oklahoma Christian received the Men's Most Valuable Performer award while Natasha Miller from Biola (Calif.) repeats as the Women's Most Valuable Performer. Kisorio scored 20 points with wins in the Men's 800-Meter Run and Men's 1,500-Meter Run while Miller scored 22 points with wins in the Women's Heptathlon and Women's High Jump in addition to a seventh place finish in the Women's 100-Meter Hurdles.