Meet Recap: 2023 NAIA Outdoor T&F Championships

Champions were crowned at the 2023 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Marion, Indiana.


Life (Ga.) and British Columbia repeated as men’s and women’s champions, respectively. The Running Eagles became the first men’s team to defend their title since Indiana Tech in 2013 and 2014, while the Thunderbirds have captured top honors at three of the past four editions of the meet.

2023 NAIA Outdoor T&F Championships – Final Standings

Men’s Teams
Women’s Teams
Life (Ga.)
British Columbia
British Columbia
William Carey (Miss.)
Southeastern (Fla.)
Life (Ga.)
Indiana Tech
Indiana Tech
Dordt (Iowa)
Marian (Ind.)

Men’s Recap

Life (Ga.) defended its team title, led in part by Phemeblo Matlhabe, who won the 200 meters and finished runner-up in the 100 meters for 18 team points in those two events alone. He was also the second leg on his 4x100m relay team, and second in that event.

Leading the way for runner-up British Columbia was Nathaniel Paris, who racked up a whopping 7232 points to win the decathlon, the first champion for the Thunderbirds in 13 years in the combined event. Rowan Hamilton won the hammer with a distance of 71.97m (236-1). UBC also able to get a fifth-place showing from Nikhil Hirani in the 5,000-meter racewalk (24:01.97).

Coming in third with 39 points, just two behind British Columbia was Southeastern (Fla.). Keishon Franklin led the Fire, standing alone atop the NAIA 400-meter world as national champion (46.57). Another big reason why the Fire came in where they did was the 2-4 tandem of Davonte Vanterpool (13.91) and Darion Cater (14.00) in the 110-meter hurdles, picking up 13 points in the process, exactly a third of their team’s total. Carter also finished 8th in the 400m hurdles (55.15). James Williamson was another heavy contributor for the Fire, as he was able to chalk up a seventh place showing in the 200m (21.19).

Women’s Recap

British Columbia ran away with the team title on the women’s side, and with a barrage of distance runners, it is easy to see why. A 1-5 finish in the 5000 meters certainly helped the Thunderbirds’ case in that department, with Katie Newlove taking the win in 16:57.35, and Marley Beckett coming in not too far behind in 17:20.93. Holly MacGillivray had a very stellar day for the Thunderbirds as well, capturing a third-place finish in the 800 (2:10.09) and runner-up finish in the 1,500 (4:22.59), as well as completing the cycle with a share of the Thunderbirds’ 4x800m title (8:56.68). Her teammate, Rachel Mortimer, finished not too far behind in the 800m with a fifth place showing in 2:09.95. However, it there are three 5000m race-walkers that stepped up with Olivia Lundman taking home top honors (23:24.98), Joean Lu coming in third (24:49.06), and Cassidy Cardle coming in fourth (26:01.95).

Finishing runner-up with 71 team points was William Carey (Miss.). Salieci Myles paced the Crusaders, taking home the gold in not only the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.28, but also running a leg on their national champion 4x100m relay squad.  WCU had another hurdler high on the podium, with Joy Abu taking home runner-up honors in the 400-meter hurdles (59.12). Machaeda Linton earned top status in the long jump, turning in a winning mark of 5.90m (19-4 ¼). The Crusaders were also able to get a second place finish in the 4x400m relay to cap off their week (3:44.07).

Coming in third with an even 50 points was Life (Ga.). Talayla Davis established herself alone as the NAIA’s fastest woman, taking top honors in the 100 meters with a time of 11.39, while also running a third-place 200-meter time of 23.79. Davis also ran the second leg on the Running Eagles’ 4x100m team that finished as runners-up (45.22). The team also got another national championship performance in the hammer throw in Jennifer Batu (58.66m/192-5).