If the 2012 NAIA national championships were about serving notice that the Indiana Tech track and field teams were ready for the national stage, then this year's meet may take the next step: to the top of the podium.
The three-day national meet begins today at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion with 40 Tech athletes qualified to compete. Several Warriors and Lady Warriors seeded No. 1 in their respective events. If those wins materialize, and Tech can utilize its amazing depth, it just may be enough for a pair of team titles.
The men placed fifth last year and the women ninth but those finishes this year would be a disappointment. The rapid ascension of both programs continued this past winter with men finishing third and the women second at the NAIA Indoor Championships.
The men's team is led by defending national champion Igor Morales (pole vault) and the number-one seeded 400-meter relay team. The Warriors are seeded No. 2 in the 1,600-meter relay and have qualified its the 3,200-meter relay team.
Athletes from local high schools are Matt Adair (Concordia) and Seth Spangler (Columbia City) in the 3,200 relay, Dontaey Paige (Heritage) in the 100, 200 and 400 relay and Austen Barnes (Homestead) in the 400, 400 relay and 1,600 relay.
The women are led by senior sprinter Adella King who is seeded No. 1 in the 100 and 200 and is on the top-seeded 400 relay. The Lady Warriors are also seeded No. 2 in the 1,600 relay.
Athletes from local high schools on the women's team are Andrea Ford (Harding) 100 hurdles, Stacia Murray (Elmhurst) triple jump, Chauntiel Smith (South Side) 400 and 1,600 relay.
Action began this morning with the men's decathlon and women's heptathlon. Finals in the following field events were this afternoon: men's and women's hammer, men's and women's javelin, women's pole vault and women's long jump. The only track finals will be tonight in the women's and men's 10,000 meter run.