MEET RECAP: 2020 NAIA Indoor T&F Championships

CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS FROM THE MEET

Champions were crowned this weekend at the 2020 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships inside the Sanford Jackrabbit Athletic Complex in Brookings, South Dakota.

William Carey (Miss.) ran away with the men’s team title, while Huntington (Ind.) used a sensational effort from its mid-distance and distance runners to win its first national title in program history.

2020 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships – Final Standings

Men’s Teams
Points
Women’s Teams
Points
William Carey (Miss.)
82
Huntington (Ind.)
77
Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)
50
William Carey (Miss.)
71
Indiana Tech
48.66
Indiana Tech
57
Doane (Neb.)
36
Concordia (Neb.)
50
Wayland Baptist (Texas)
32
Wayland Baptist (Texas)
42

Keep reading below for a full recap of the meet.

Be sure to check back early next week when we official name those athletes who earned All-America honors as well as our National Athletes & Coaches of the Year!

Men’s Recap

It was just a matter of time until William Carey (Miss.) got it rolling.

Once the Crusaders got some momentum, they weren’t stopping until they reached the top of the podium.

William Carey (Miss.) sat in sixth place after eight events and then moved up to third following Ngoni Chadyiwa’s fifth-place finish in the 400. Once Brandon Norwood crossed the finish line fourth in the 600 to give the Crusaders a share of the lead, the team started to roll.

Dante Brown and Diamantae Griffin put William Carey (Miss.) in the lead for good when they went 1-2 in the 60, while Malik Crandle and Ineh Emmanuel added a sweep in the triple jump a little later to turn it into a rout. Brown and Emmanuel both stood out for the Crusaders as the former also won an individual title in the 200 and the latter did so in the long jump.

Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) got the most out of its entries thanks to the performances of Wesley Meyer and Bryce Vollrath, among others. Meyer was the unquestioned star thanks to his 22.5 points behind individual titles in the mile and the 3000. He also added a strong anchor leg on the title-winning Distance Medley Relay. Vollrath finished runner-up in the weight throw.

Indiana Tech, which had the most entries into the meet with 28, finished runner-up. The Warriors received national runner-up finishes on the final day of competition from Jordan Highsmith in the 400 and Anthony Franklin in the 200. Highsmith also finished fifth in the 200, not long after his effort in the 400.

Doane (Neb.) sat in a tie for sixth place through 18 events, but that was before Tyce Hruza and Levi Sudbeck wrapped things up in the pole vault. Hruza finished runner-up and Sudbeck placed fifth for 12 combined points, which propelled them onto the podium.

Women’s Recap

Never underestimate the power of two athletes.

Aspen Dirr and Hannah Stoffel proved that on Saturday.

Dirr and Stoffel orchestrated a masterclass performance as they combined for 62 of Huntington (Ind.)‘s 77 points behind three combined individual titles (Dirr in the mile and 1000, Stoffel in the 800), two legs each on title-winning relay teams (4×800 and DMR), two runner-up finishes (Dirr in the 5000, Stoffel in the mile) and one third-place effort (Stoffel in the 600).

It wasn’t until Dirr and Stoffel teamed up with Mara McFarland and Molly Mitchell in the DMR that the Foresters locked up the victory. The quartet only needed to finish no worse than fourth to win the national title outright, but they ended up winning by nine seconds.

William Carey (Miss.) gave all it had on the final day and even held the lead through 17 events. It was in that 17th event – the 200 – where Aniekeme Etim completed the sweep of the sprint titles as she also won the 60 a little bit earlier. Brittany Jones and Jezelle Shaw also won individual titles in the long jump and 600, respectively, while Shaw was a member of the winning 4×400 relay that closed the meet.

Indiana Tech turned a gender-high 26 entries into 57 points and yet another podium spot. Destiny Copeland and Doneasha Brewer gave the Warriors a boost on Friday with a runner-up finish in the long jump where they finished second and fifth, respectively, while Derica Gibson and Kylin Nichols provided strong points on Saturday with third place finishes in the 200 and and 60H, respectively.

Concordia (Neb.) had 14 entries spread across eight different events and scored big in several of them. Rachel Battershell won the individual title in the 400, while Adrianna Shaw placed runner-up in both the shot put and weight throw.