Dakota State receives the award for hosting at the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex as well as hosting a banquet at the Swiftel Center
Brookings, S.D. (9/19/2019) – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) named Dakota State University (DSU) as the “Best New Championship Host” award recipient for the 2018-2019 school year. DSU hosted the 2019 NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championship at the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex in Brookings, SD as well as a memorable student-athlete banquet event at the Swiftel Center. The “Best New Championship Host” award is given to the host that displays excellence in all aspects of conducting a national championship, produces an excellent student-athlete experience and is in their first year of hosting a championship event.
“It was an honor for the Swiftel Center to be part of such a great event!” said Jeremy Linstad, Associate Executive Director of the Swiftel Center. “Watching the Brookings community come together with DSU to make this event a success was one of those ‘WOW!’ moments we will never forget.”
The student-athlete banquet took place the night before the start of the 2019 NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championship. More than 1,100 student-athletes attended the banquet which was hosted in the Swiftel Center arena. The Swiftel Center Food & Beverage department prepared a delicious pasta buffet dinner for all attendees. 91,080 noodles were prepared and served in less than 30 minutes. The Food & Beverage team also scooped and served root beer floats for all banquet attendees. The featured ice cream was South Dakota State University vanilla ice cream which is made locally on-campus at SDSU, adding an element of personalization for the food experience.
“This was a fantastic event for our Brookings community,” said Tom Richter, Executive Director of the Swiftel Center. “I am incredibly proud of our entire Swiftel Center team for executing the banquet so efficiently. It was remarkable to watch the preparation and teamwork to get all 1,100 attendees served and eating in under 30 minutes.”
For the evening atmosphere and activities, DSU chose a western theme to showcase South Dakota culture, which was a first-time experience for many of the student-athletes who had traveled to South Dakota from across the United States. The decorations featured horses, cowboys and bandanas. DSU staff hosted a roping station where student-athletes could try their hand at roping a stationary target. Upon arrival at the banquet, Brookings Mayor Keith Corbett as well as the Brooking Convention & Visitors Bureau welcomed guests and gave away Brookings pins. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem as well as South Dakota Secretary of Tourism Jim Hagen recorded welcome messages for all NAIA participants and volunteers which was played during the banquet program.
For more information about the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), visit www.naia.org