The National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) announced an agreement Thursday with Grace College to host the Track and Field National Championships in 2018 and 2019. The championships will be held on Grace College’s campus at the sparkling new Bernard and Linnie Key Track and Field Complex.
Grace is experienced hosting NCCAA National Championships, having served as host for the Division I women’s basketball tournament since 2009 and the men’s basketball tournament since 2012.
“The NCCAA is so thankful to Grace College, [Grace President] Dr. Bill Katip and [Grace AD] Chad Briscoe for their willingness to host the 2018 and 2019 NCCAA Track and Field National Championships,” said NCCAA Executive Director Dan Wood. “Grace has significant experience and a passion for hosting NCCAA events and will elevate this event for all participants and spectators.”
Each year in May, these championships will feature student-athletes from across the country competing in 22 events. Men’s and women’s events will be held over a two-day period. Student-athletes and coaches will also have the opportunity to serve the local community through a Christian Service Project (CSP). Details of the CSP will be released closer to the event date.
“This is a great day for our athletic department, campus, and community,” Briscoe said. “We are humbled to be selected by the NCCAA to host the track and field championships for 2018 and 2019. We will work diligently with Coach Jeff Raymond to create a national championship atmosphere that generates great memories for the participants, fans and our community.”
Raymond, who is Grace’s track and field head coach, added: “As someone who participated in the NCCAA Track and Field National Championships more than 30 years ago and has coached at the meet for several years, it is truly an honor to play a part in hosting this great event. We are committed to making this championship a great experience for student-athletes, coaches, and fans.”
The Bernard and Linnie Key Track and Field Complex is a state-of-the-art design that was completed in October 2016. It includes a nine-lane, 400-meter competition track with the ability to run sprints in either direction, depending on wind conditions. Three long jump/triple jump pits allow men and women to compete at the same time in either direction. There is a large “D” area for the high jump competition and the javelin runway. The facility also includes a hammer/discus cage, a second discus throw area, a shot put area and grandstand seating for 400. All competition areas are within 50 meters of the track.
“Grace College is honored and delighted to be selected to host the NCCAA track championships,” Katip said. “We have thoroughly enjoyed hosting the NCCAA basketball championships for nearly a decade, and we are excited for this new opportunity to showcase this prestigious event at the new Bernard and Linnie Key Track and Field Complex.”