PITTSBURG — The City of Pittsburg will play host to the 2018 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Indoor Track and Field National Championships, according to a press release from the NAIA on Monday.
“The NAIA is eager to bring the Indoor Track and Field Championships to the City of Pittsburg, as they have shown exceptional skills in hosting previous collegiate track and field championships,” said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO, in the release. “We have confidence that the City of Pittsburg will deliver a remarkable event and a memorable experience for our student-athletes, coaches and fans.”
The 2018 NAIA Indoor Track and Field Indoor National Championships will be held at Pittsburg State University’s Robert W. Plaster Center from March 1-3.
“The Crawford County CVB is thrilled to be partnering with the NAIA to bring yet another Indoor National Championship to the City of Pittsburg,” said Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director B.J. Harris. "Pittsburg benefits greatly from being able to host NAIA student-athletes for their championship event. The impact is more than the sheer economics — our hope is they leave our community with a lasting memory, one they will share for years to come."
Since the doors opened in the spring of 2015, the Plaster Center has hosted two other collegiate track and field national championships — the 2016 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field National Championships and the 2017 NJCAA Indoor Track and Field National Championships.
It will be a busy month for the City of Pittsburg and Pitt State, which will also be hosting the NCAA DII Indoor Track and Field National Championships from March 9-10 at the Plaster Center.
“The exciting part is we will be able to host [the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships] a week prior to us hosting the NCAA DII Indoor National Championships,” Pittsburg State Assistant Athletic Director Brad Wells said. “It’s going to be a crazy couple of weeks for Pitt State and everyone involved who do all the work in making those events happen. It’s very exciting for Pittsburg State and the Pittsburg community.
“It is going to draw a lot of business for Pittsburg, but even more importantly, it is going to draw a lot of attention to Pittsburg from all over the country. You are going to have people who may have never heard of Pittsburg, Kansas, spending time here and realizing what a great community we have. I think that is pretty special.”
The 2017 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships, held in Johnson City, Tennessee, featured more than 180 teams and nearly 1,000 athletes.
-- Lucas Davis is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at email@example.com and follow him on twitter @LDsportswriter.