By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is proud to announce the NAIA Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field National Championships will be hosted by the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Sports Commission in partnership with the city in Gulf Shores, Ala., for the 2014 and 2015 event. Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium will serve as the venue for the 2014 championships from May 22 – 24 and the 2015 event from May 21 – 23.
Alabama’s Gulf Coast is the current home of the 2012 and 2013 NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championships.
“The NAIA is excited to bring the outdoor track and field national championship to the Gulf Shores area,” said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. “The Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Sports Commission have been wonderful hosts to current and previous NAIA national championships that include women’s soccer, men’s soccer and softball. I am confident that all student-athletes, coaches and fans will enjoy a memorable national championship experience.”
The Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission has engineered numerous sporting events and sells Alabama’s Gulf Coast as one of the premier destinations. The Sports Commission has a reputation for bringing national events to the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches.
“We at the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Sports Commission are thrilled to have been chosen as the host site for the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships for 2014 & 2015,” said Beth Gendler, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism Vice President of Sales. “The city of Gulf Shores made improvements to their track, which enabled them to host collegiate events and this will be a great way to show athletes from all over the country the new facility. It is our pleasure to continue our strong relationship with the NAIA and appreciate their confidence in us.”
The track at Gulf Shores Sportsplex was resurfaced with a state-of-the-art poured polyurethane surface. Other track upgrades included the addition of a steeplechase, a high jump and pole vault pits and standards.
For more information on the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission, click here.
The NAIA has sponsored the sport of men’s outdoor track and field since 1952, and the women’s program since 1981. Currently, 157 NAIA institutions sponsor the sport of men’s outdoor track and field and there are 159 women’s outdoor track and field programs.
Indiana Tech swept the men’s and women’s 2013 national championships at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind., from May 23 – 25.
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 the NAIA, click here.