Southeastern (Fla.) Claims First NAIA Men’s Indoor Track & Field Championship in Exciting Fashion

Southeastern (Fla.) Claims First NAIA Men’s Indoor Track & Field Championship in Exciting Fashion

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Six teams were vying for the 2023 NAIA Men’s Indoor Track & Field national title before the final race Saturday at Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex.  Dakota State (S.D.) hosted the national indoor track & field meet for the fifth straight year.

Before entering the 4 x 400-meter relay national final, eight points were separated from first- through sixth places.  Indiana Wesleyan held the lead with 37 points, followed by Southeastern (Fla.) with 35 points, Life (Ga.) with 34 points, Keiser (Fla.) with 34 points, Dordt (Iowa) with 33.60 points, and Doane (Neb.) with 29 points.  All six teams were part of the final event (4 x 400-meter relay).

The 4 x 400-meter relay began with Life holding the lead in the race.  Unfortunately, Life’s baton dropped on the first exchange, allowing Southeastern to overtake the lead and held on to win the title with a time of 3 minutes, 10.40 seconds. 

The Fire captured their first NAIA Men’s Indoor Track & Field national title in program history after scoring 45 points.  It was the lowest point total scored in the national title winner since the 2011 national meet by Shorter (Ga.) with 44 points.

Life earned the runner-up honor with 40 points. Dordt finished third with 38.60 points, followed by Indiana Wesleyan fourth with 37 points.  Keiser was fifth with 36 points.  Doane and Marian (Ind.) finished in a two-way tie for sixth place with 30 points.

The NAIA men’s indoor track & field national meet was decided with five points or less in the past three years.

  • Saturday kicked off with the 1-mile run as Jason Bowers of Cumberland (Tenn.) was .03 seconds short of tying the national championship meet record time.  He was the first Cumberland athlete to win the 1-mile run (2nd overall in program history) after posting a time of 4:03.72.
  • Emmanuel Niang became the first Talladega (Ala.) men’s indoor track athlete to win a national title, capturing the 60-meter hurdles title in 7.85 seconds. 
  • Joseph Taylor clinched the first-ever men’s national title in the 400-meter dash for Southeastern, clocking a time of 46.80 seconds.
  • Jacob Ulrich became the first Life runner to win the 600-meter dash title with a time of 1 minute, 16.34 seconds.  His time is tied for the ninth-best time in the world this season.
  • Midland’s (Neb.) Dylan Kucera became the 4th overall NAIA athlete to earn a 4-peat national title.  He won the shot-put national title for the fourth consecutive year, throwing his national-best mark of 19.17 meters (62 feet, 10.75 inches).
  • Kucera was the second shot-put thrower to capture four straight national titles since 1987-1990 by Ade Olukoju of Azusa Pacific (Calif.).
  • William Jones won his second jumping title in two days for Life.  After winning the long jump Friday, He leaped 15.89 meters (52 feet, 1.75 inches) on his last attempt to win the national title in the triple jump.  Jones also became the first Life’s long jumper to win the national championship.
  • Freshman Caleb Pouliot won the pole vault title after clearing the height of 5.10 meters (16 feet, 8.75 inches), becoming the first The Masters (Calif.) men’s athlete to win a national title in program history.
  • Saminu Addul-Rasheed of Florida Memorial edged the semifinal top time by Donte Sol to win the 60-meter dash national title.  Abdul-Rasheed finished with a time of 6.63 seconds, followed by Sol with a time of 6.65 seconds.  Jaylan Washington of Ottawa (Kan.) was third in 6.68 seconds.
  • Milan Todorovic of Oklahoma City earned the first 800-meter run national title in program history, registering a time of 1:52.03. 
  • Senzo Sokhela of Westmont (Calif.) denied St. Mary (Kan.) for the third straight 1000-meter run national title (previously won by Luke Skinner of St. Mary).  Sokhela finished with a time of 2 minutes, 25.42 seconds, followed by Liam Neidig of USM in 2:25.70.  Sokhela’s teammate Jack Vanden Heuvel finished third in 2:26.10.
  • The 3000-meter run national title belongs to Bryn Woodall of Milligan (Tenn.), clocking a time of 8 minutes, 19.09 seconds.
  • A pair of Madonna (Mich.) sprinters finished in the top two of the 200-meter dash race.  Deveyon Blacknell won the national title in 21.07 seconds (first Madonna to win the 200-meter dash national title), while his teammate Cortez Cunningham earned runner-up honor .03 seconds later (21.10 seconds).
  • Milligan added another national title in the 5000-meter run, paced by Aaron Jones with a time of 14 minutes, 26.68 seconds.
  • The Masters (Calif.) claimed their second national title late Saturday, winning the distance medley relay.  Zach Garey, Sam Jean, Anthony Ghiorso, and Davis Boggess produced a time of 9 minutes, 59.47 seconds to win the title.
  • Southeastern won the thrilling final race of the day in the 4 x 400-meter relay in 3:10.40.

Post-Meet Awards 

Men’s Outstanding Performer:  Jacob Ulrich – Life (Ga.) – his performance in the 600-meters tied for ninth in the world this year.

Men’s Most Valuable Performer:  William Jones – Life (Ga.) – he scored 20 points in the national meet after winning the long jump Friday and triple jump Saturday.

Men’s Coach of the Year:  Nick Dodson – Southeastern (Fla.)


Championship Information

NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championship


February 29 - March 2, 2024
Sanford Jackrabbit Athletic Complex
Brookings, S.D.