GULF SHORES, Ala. - Four Maple Leafs have headed south and are part of the hundreds of student-athletes from across the country who will compete in this weekend's NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships.
This year's event, the 63rd annual men's and 34th annual women's championships, will be hosted by the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Sports Commission for the first time. Action will commence at Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium on Thursday, but all four Goshen competitors will have their turn Friday afternoon and evening.
Three of Goshen's competitors were All-Americans at the indoor championships in early March and will look for another national honor this week. All three are in Friday's race walk field with junior Mitchell Brickson highlighting the group. He has five consecutive All-American nods in race walking fields and enters the 5k event as the fourth seed (24:19.32).
Junior Kolton Nay made his national debut at the indoor championships and walked out with a fifth place showing. He enters the outdoor men's field seeded sixth with a time of 24:43.13. The top eight finishers in each event will be named All-Americans.
Like Brickson, Dunn has a perfect nationals record, earning All-American honors in all three championships she has competed in. She is part of a very deep women's field, currently ranked 13th with a seeding time of 27:46.91.
Senior Kyle Mishler is the final Goshen student-athlete in action this week, making his national championship debut. He had a breakout final season as a Maple Leaf, setting a new school record of 6-foot-8 in the high jump. He went on to win the Crossroads League Championship and enters tied for 16th in a high jump field which features 25 participants.
NeuLion, the NAIA's official video-streaming company of 17 select NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting the events. A subscription package to view the entire three-day event is $5.95. For more information, including how to test your computer and internet connection, click here. Live results can also be found here.
Friday, May 23
4:10 PM (CST) - Women's 5,000 Race Walk (Abby Dunn)
4:40 PM (CST) - Men's 5,000 Race Walk (Mitchell Brickson, Kolton Nay)
6:00 PM (CST) - Men's High Jump (Kyle Mishler)