As we head into the summer months I hope you’ll take a few minutes to review our frequently asked questions document for domestic, international and transfer student-athletes. Remember in order to move your determination process along without delay you MUST have a complete profile at PlayNAIA.org. If you have questions about your profile or missing documents please contact us at 1-866-881-6242 or ECinfo@naia.org.
Have a great summer,
The NAIA Eligibility Center
NAIA Baseball | National Champion: Concordia (Calif.)
Concordia (Calif.) won the 2011 Avista-NAIA World Series with a 9-3 victory over Lubbock Christian (Texas) at Harris Field on the campus of Lewis Clark-State in Lewiston, Idaho. The ninth-seeded Eagles captured their first-ever National Championship in only their second World Series appearance. They went 5-1 while playing in the 55th annual event and closed out their season with a record 43-19. The sixth-seeded Chaps wrapped up their season with a record of 50-14 in their 10th World Series appearance.
“It’s just an unbelievable feeling right now,” Concordia head baseball coach Mike Grahovac said. “It’s been a long year, but this made it all worth it. I can’t describe what I’m feeling. It’s just unbelievable.”
“This was a grind because we came in as underdogs,” Concordia senior centerfielder Matt Ivanoff said. “We had a lot of fun and played well. This is such a great feeling.”
NAIA Softball | National Champion: Oregon Tech
Jackie Imhof made a first-inning run hold up as Oregon Tech (42-13) blanked California Baptist (66-5) 1-0 to win the 2011 NAIA Softball National Championship at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex in Gulf Shores, Ala.
The Cal Baptist Lancers won it’s first championship game 7-0 to force the decisive game after coming out of the loser’s bracket, but Imhof (25-6) was on her game in the finale.
“It was definitely just a dream come true,” Oregon Tech head coach Greg Stewart said. “To beat the No. 1 team in the country twice by 1-0 scores, you couldn’t have scripted it in any better fashion.”
NAIA Men’s Tennis | National Champion: Fresno Pacific (Calif.)
Top-seed Fresno Pacific (Calif.) defeated No. 2-seed Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 5-1 in the 2011 NAIA Men’s Tennis National Championship Finals to pick up the program’s second national title and put a halt to Embry-Riddle’s run at the 60th annual event.
The Sunbirds (25-2, 14-0 Golden State Athletic Conference) came out firing from all cylinders and took early leads in each of the doubles matches. FPU’s No. 3 doubles pair of Amarit Sanchez and Nathan Martinet started off with an 8-3 win over Peter Francis and Simon Felix. At No. 1 doubles, Xavier Smith and Kirill Sinitsyn of Fresno Pacific jumped out to a 6-2 advantage in No. 1 doubles before ERAU’s Chris Freeman and Jan Hoekzema answered with three-straight games to bring it to 6-5. The Sunbird duo held off the Eagles and locked up the team’s second match with an 8-6 victory. In the No. 2 doubles match, Embry-Riddle’s Patrick Besch and Adrian Bayh climbed back from a 6-3 deficit and forced a tiebreaker. With the momentum in their favor, the Eagles closed out the match winning 9-8 (2).
Up 2-1 heading into singles play, Fresno Pacific needed just three wins to capture the title. The Sunbirds depth shined as Jaime Canamares won No. 6 singles with a score of 6-1, 6-2, followed by a 6-3, 6-4 win by Martinet at No. 4 singles. The clincher came at No. 3 singles where Cledson Carvalho sealed the deal with a 6-4, 6-2 victory.
NAIA Women’s Tennis | National Champion: Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)
Third-seeded Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) overcame a 3-1 deficit to take down defending national champion and No. 1-seed Fresno Pacific (Calif.) at the 2011 NAIA Women’s Tennis National Championship. The Lady Senators bounced back and defeated the Sunbirds, 5-3, by winning four-straight singles sets.
Since the team format began in 2000, Auburn Montgomery became the first team to win a title with just five players on its roster. Despite giving up two points by default at No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles in each match of the tournament, head coach Rolando Vargas guided the program to its 11th overall championship. The Lady Senators have won seven of the past eight banners.
The Senators, who were ranked in the top-three of the NAIA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Top 25 Poll the entire season, improved their National Championship record to a near-perfect 45-3 (.937) with the win.
Men’s Golf | National Champion: Oklahoma Christian
Oklahoma Christian captured the 2011 NAIA Men’s Golf National Championship to win its second title in three years at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. The Eagles led the entire event, finishing with a 281-293-283-293–1150. Oklahoma Christian senior Oscar Stark became the program’s first individual to capture national medalist honors.
Stark led wire-to-wire after opening the four-round tournament with a 4-under-par 67. He followed with back-to-back rounds of 1-under-par 70 before closing out with a 2-over-par 73. He was the only player in the field to finish under par at 4-under-par 280.
Stark’s Oklahoma Christian teammate Axel Ochoa closed with an even 71 to finish second overall with a 1-over-par 285. Defending national medalist Justin Lower of Malone (Ohio) fired a 2-under-par 69 to end in third with a 286.
Women’s Golf | National Champion: California Baptist
California Baptist captured its first-ever 2011 NAIA Women’s Golf National Championship, winning in a playoff against Embry-Riddle (Fla.) at Link Hills Country Club in Greeneville, Tenn. The Lancers Nathalie Silva sunk a birdie on No. 18 to tie the Eagles at 1252 to force the extra hole. It was the first time in the event’s 17-year history that a playoff was needed to determine the national champion.
“It’s pretty incredible,” California Baptist head women’s golf coach Lane Pace said. “The last four years we have had really good teams and good finishes, but we could never quite get over the hump. The girls worked really hard. This is a tough golf course and it’s a tough walk. We knew that if we just hung in there and kept playing our game we could come through. Nathalie [Silva] came through and made the birdie putt on the last hole to tie and then we had the playoff and we played it well. It’s incredible.”
“If you would have told me that Embry-Riddle was going to shoot something that started with a three-zero, I would have told you that they probably would have won,” Pace said. “That’s just how tough of a golf course this is and being the last day of the national tournament. My girls came out firing and it was a team effort.”
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field | National Champion: Shorter (Ga.)
As if its championship at the indoor national meet wasn’t enough, the Shorter (Ga.) men’s track and field team had another golden opportunity at the 2011 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships to erase any doubt that it was the cream of the crop in the NAIA.
The Hawks did just that.
Powered by four individual national championships and a host of record-setting performances, Shorter captured the NAIA Men’s Outdoor Track and Field national championship as the three-day national meet concluded in Marion, Ind.
Freshman Paul Chelimo won a pair of individual titles in the 5,000 and 10,000, sophomore Travis Benton snatched his first individual national championship by winning the 100-meter dash and senior Nick Dodson finally broke his string of three runner-up finishes with a title in the 400 hurdles as Shorter completed the rare indoor-outdoor double to confirm its status as the nation’s premier track and field program.
“This championship means so much to our athletes, our coaches and to the Shorter University athletic department,” said Shorter head coach Scott Byrd, who added an NAIA Men’s Outdoor Track and Field National Coach of the Year honor to the Indoor National Coach of the Year accolade he garnered earlier in the year. “Five years ago, Shorter didn’t have a track team, but it was [President Dr. Harold Newman's] vision to start this track program. Being able to win both an indoor and outdoor title in Dr. Newman’s last year is exactly what we wanted to do for him.”
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field | National Champion: Concordia (Ore.)
Despite being used to competing in adverse weather conditions, a near two-hour rain delay probably didn’t bother the Concordia (Ore.) women’s track & field too much as the team locked up the NAIA National Outdoor Championships without the aid of the final running event on Saturday.
With just the 1,600-meter relay remaining before a series of lightning storms rolled through the area to stall the official announcement, the Cavaliers generated a comfortable enough lead to secure the school’s first ever NAIA team championship in any sport.
Behind 13 individual All-America performances and a pair of national championships by Kayla Xavier, the Concordia University women’s track & field team captured the NAIA Outdoor National title with 86 total points. Oklahoma Baptist placed second overall with 69 1/2 points. Concordia’s Randy Dalzell was named the NAIA Coach of the Year.