GENEVA, Ohio – (Live Scoring) (Live Video Stream) The 50th annual men’s and 34th annual women’s National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Indoor Track and Field National Championships are ready to kick off in Geneva, Ohio, from Thursday through Saturday.
The event takes place at the SPIRE Institute Track and Field Sports Complex for the fifth-straight year. Over 130 men’s and women’s programs will compete as action begins at 1 p.m. EST Thursday with the women’s pentathlon and the men’s heptathlon at 1:30 p.m.
All of the national championship action will be video-streamed live on NAIANetwork.com, the NAIA’s official video-streaming platform provided by Stretch Internet. Fans will have a chance to watch up to four HD-quality live channels for a subscription fee. For more information, click here.
Sixty-eight events are scheduled over the three-day span. The Women’s 5,000-meter relays (semifinals) will kick off the track portion of events at 4 p.m.
Thursday with seven other semifinals and prelim events to follow. On Friday, the heptathlon begins the day at 10 a.m., followed by the running and field events at noon. The National Championship ceremony, which honors eligible team’s Champions of Character individual awards and the Buffalo Funds Five Star Champions of Character Team Award, starts off Saturday at noon.
The national champions and award winners will be recognized Saturday at approximately 4:30 p.m. The top eight athletes in each event and top eight relay teams will each earn team points and achieve NAIA All-America status. Those awards will be announced on Monday, March 9.
The Oklahoma Baptist women headline the event as the Bison seek out their third-straight NAIA National Championship title. If they succeed this year, the Bison would become just the second team in championship history to three-peat, joining former NAIA member McKendree (Ill.), who won four-consecutive banners (1999-2002).
The Bison already own the most all-time team championships with six, with four of them coming in the last five years. In the past three events, Oklahoma Baptist performers have posted 21 individual first-place finishes, including a NAIA-record tying eight during the 2014 event.
Indiana Tech, who earned runner-up honors in each of the past two championships, is looking for its first trophy. The Warriors lost by a 133-123 margin last year.
In the 33-year history of the women’s championship, there have been 13 institutions to hoist the red banner. Nine of those programs have multiple championships to their credit. Individually, 87 schools have landed at least one athlete on the top podium for first-place honors.
For the men, Indiana Tech won its first-ever indoor track & field national championship in 2014. The Warriors defeated second-place Wayland Baptist (Texas), 82-69. Indiana Tech became the fifth different championship-winning team in the last five years. The program is attempting to win back-to-back hardware’s and become the first such NAIA school since former member Azusa Pacific (Calif.) rattled off fourth-consecutive championships from 2007-10.