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2011 NAIA Men's and Women's Outdoor Track & Field National Championship Preview
Men's Track & Field - Thu, May 26, 2011
Kansas City, Mo.- Nearly 1,300 student-athletes are set to compete at the 2011 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships, held May 26-28. The Outdoor Sports Complex in Marion, Ind., is home to the 60th Annual Men's and 31st Annual Women's events, which are hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University.
This year's field features 139 schools including 126 men's teams and 120 women's squads. The men's decathlon and women's heptathlon kick off action on Thursday morning at 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. CDT, respectively. The women's hammer throw heads the field events at 10 a.m. and the women's 4x100-meter relay trials kicks off the track events at 1 p.m. Opening Ceremonies start on Thursday at 4:45 p.m. and the Awards Ceremony wraps up the three-day event on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
A new team was crowned champions at the 2010 Outdoor Track and Field National Championships. Wayland Baptist (Texas) earned its first-ever banner totaling 70 points and finishing 19 points of second-place finisher Dickinson State (N.D.). Dickinson State, who finished as runner-up for the fourth-consecutive season, has placed in the top-two for eighth straight years. Azusa Pacific (Calif.) leads all schools with 15 all-time men's championships.
Looking to join an elite group of three-time champions is Oklahoma Christian's Silas Kisorio. With his performances, the junior from Eldoret, Kenya, has earned the Most Valuable Performance distinction. The award is based on total points scored in national meet competition. Kisorio has won the 800 two years in-a-row and collected his first title in the 1500 last year.
On the women's side, defending national champion Azusa Pacific (Calif.) will be looking to repeat and move into a tie for second-most all-time team championships. Last year, the Cougars captured the program's fourth outdoor title while edging Oklahoma Baptist in the closest meet ever. APU edged Oklahoma Baptist 61-60 to take home the banner, while third-place Simon Fraser (B.C.) tallied 56 points.
Shorter's (Ga.) Justyna Mudy, who holds the NAIA record in the 3000- meter Steeplechase, returns to the championships and is seeking her third-consecutive title in the event. She will also be looking to win the 5000 for the second year in-a-row. Mudy has been named the Herbert B. Marett Outstanding Performer the past two years.
Also highlighting the women's field is Natasha Miller of Biola (Calif.). The senior, who enters the competition seeded first in the high jump and heptathlon, earned Most Valuable Performer honors in both 2009 and 2010.
In all, two individual records were broken in the women's events at last year's National Championships. Nicole Evangelista of British Columbia rewrote the record book with a time of 25:11.56 in the 5000-meter race walk, while teammate and four-time champion Liz Gleadle broke the record in the javelin.
The entire 2011 NAIA Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field National Championships will be streamed online. You can catch all of the track and field action for free by clicking here and selecting one of four different camera feeds.