Indiana Tech, Wayland Baptist (Texas) Named NAIA Programs of the Year

NEW ORLEANS – The trophies for NAIA Programs of the Year are going into the hands of some familiar recipients.

Indiana Tech earned its third NAIA Men’s Program of the Year honor in a row, while Wayland Baptist (Texas) captured consecutive NAIA Women’s Program of the Year honors.

In order to be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for each of the NCAA Championships. Scoring is based on the team’s finish at each NCAA Championship in cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field (i.e. 1st = 1 point, 2nd = 2 points … 31st = 31 points) with the lowest total score for all three championships combined determining the award winner. Ties among schools split points for positions taken.

Final NAIA Program of the Year Standings

Men’s Team Pts Women’s Team Pts
1. Indiana Tech 16 1. Wayland Baptist (Texas) 7
2. Wayland Baptist (Texas) 30 2. Oklahoma City 20.5
3. Eastern Oregon 30.5 3. Aquinas (Mich.) 21.5
4. Saint Mary (Kan.) 36.5 4. Taylor (Ind.) 47
5. William Carey (Miss.) 44 5. College of Idaho 47.5

Indiana Tech entered this past weekend’s NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships trailing Eastern Oregon by a half-point in the Program of the Year standings. The Warriors finished 12th in cross country and second indoors to give them 14 points, while the Mountaineers tallied 13.5 after a seventh-place effort in cross country and tying for sixth indoors.

For Indiana Tech to be named Program of the Year a third time, it needed to beat Eastern Oregon by at least two places in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Well, the Warriors were runner-up to Wiley (Texas) and the Mountaineers finished far behind in 15th place.

Wayland Baptist (Texas) leapfrogged Eastern Oregon for third after placing fifth outdoors.

Saint Mary (Kan.) and William Carey (Miss.) rounded out the top-5.

Over in the race for the Women’s Program of the Year, Wayland Baptist (Texas) held a comfortable lead going into the outdoor meet. The Pioneers finished second in cross country and won the indoor title for three points, while Aquinas (Mich.) sat six points behind after fourth- and fifth-place finishes, respectively.

Wayland Baptist (Texas) battled in the Yellowhammer State and took fourth place in the team standings. The Pioneers ended up with seven points in the Program of the Year standings, which was more than enough to distance themselves from Oklahoma City’s 20.5.

Aquinas (Mich.) fell to third in the final standings and was followed by Taylor (Ind.) and the College of Idaho in the top-5.