MCKENZIE, Tenn. - The Bethel University Women's Track and Field team was recognized by the NAIA as the NAIA Female Track and Field National Champions of Character Team of the Year recently. The Lady Wildcats beat out every school in the nation who has an outdoor track and field program. The champions of character initiative recognizes five core values: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership.
Bethel Coach Brandon Kilburn expressed his thoughts about the prestigious award. "I am beyond proud of this group of ladies for what they have accomplished. We participated in several small community outreach activities and one large activity. The ladies took part in an event at Eastview Baptist Church in Huntingdon, Tennessee. The event is called the Backpack Ministry in which they basically take various food items and put them in backpacks to give out to students at local elementary schools who are in need of these products. The church was able to give out over 150 backpacks with the assistance of the ladies on the track team." Kilburn added, "The impressive part of all this to me is that they do these activities and never ask why or have any complaints. They generally find a way to have fun in whatever they are doing and I think that speaks to their character as much as anything. I can't say enough how happy I am for them to be recognized nationally for what they have done. "
Bethel Associate Athletic Director Brad Chappell stated, "To be recognized across the NAIA as a team of character is a tremendous honor and point of distinction not only for Coach Kilburn and women's track but also for Bethel University. It presents a snapshot of the type of people that chose to come to Bethel to further their academic and athletic careers. This type of recognition gives us a tangible goal to strive for each year in regards to character education and demonstration. "
Bethel Coach Brandon Kilburn with National Award