Award History
NAIA Program of the Year

Saint Mary (Kan.), Huntington (Ind.) Named USTFCCCA NAIA Programs of the Year

NEW ORLEANS – The 2020-21 NAIA Program of the Year winners were announced on Thursday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Saint Mary (Kan.) earned the men’s honor in a very close point tally, while Huntington (Ind.) enjoyed a slightly larger margin for the women’s crown.

NAIA Program of the Year – Final Standings

Men’s Team
Points
Women’s Team
Points
Saint Mary (Kan.)
21
Huntington (Ind.)
25.5
Indiana Wesleyan
22
Dordt (Iowa)
29
Oklahoma City
22.5
Indiana Wesleyan
30
Doane (Neb.)
27.5
Milligan (Tenn.)
30
Huntington (Ind.)
28.5
Southeastern (Fla.)
36.5

The USTFCCCA Program of the Year Award honors the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year (spanning the cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field seasons) based on the institution’s finish at the NAIA Championships.

In order to be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for each of the NAIA Championships. Scoring is based on the team’s finish at each NAIA 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.

This year’s compilation was different than normal, as the NAIA Cross Country Championships were held in April, rather than its traditional position in November. The indoor (March) and outdoor (May) meets were able to occupy their usual spots on the calendar, making it a busy three months.

Men’s Story

Saint Mary (Kan.) earned men’s top honors with 21 points, followed closely by Indiana Wesleyan with 22 and Oklahoma City with 22.5. Rounding out the top 5 were Doane (Neb.) with 27.5 points and Huntington (Ind.) with 28.5. Dordt (Iowa) just missed being included in the top-5 with 29.

The Spires finished 10th at the indoor meet in early March, then added a fifth-place effort in cross country. Saint Mary (Kan.) ended up with a sixth-place in the recent NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships to earn Program of the Year honors by just one point. The Spires were the only program (men or women) to finish in the top-10 in all three championships.

Indiana Wesleyan edged Oklahoma City by just 0.5 points for Program of the Year runner-up honors. The Wildcats were fourth indoors, seventh in cross country and 11th outdoors, while the Stars were third indoors, fourth in cross country and tied for 15th outdoors.

Doane (Neb.) used a co-championship in the outdoor meet to finish fourth in the standings, following finishes of sixth indoors and 20th in cross country. Huntington (Ind.) sandwiched a runner-up finish in cross country with 13th-place finishes in indoor and outdoor track & field.

Women’s Story

Huntington (Ind.) won the Program of the Year award on the women’s side with 25.5 points, while Dordt (Iowa) was next with 29. Indiana Wesleyan and Milligan (Tenn.) tied for third with 30 each, while Southeastern (Fla.) completed the top-5 with 36.5.

The Foresters moved ahead of Dordt (Iowa) by virtue of a better finish at the outdoor meet. Huntington (Ind.) was eighth indoors, 12th in cross country and finished with their best performance, a tie for fifth place at the recent NAIA Outdoor Championships.

Dordt (Iowa) was runner-up by a slim margin. The Defenders were fifth indoors, eighth in cross country and 16th outdoors.

Indiana Wesleyan was 13th indoors, fifth in cross country and 12th outdoors, while the Milligan (Tenn.) was 10th indoors, seventh in cross country and 13th outdoors.

Southeastern (Fla.) edged out College of Idaho for fifth place by just 0.5 points at 36.5. The Fire were ninth indoors, 22nd in cross country and tied for fifth outdoors.