Right: Members of the track team stand in front of the newly unveiled National Championship banner on Goodman Gym. Left: The Men’s and Women’s Track Teams celebrate two victories at the 2015 NCCAA Indoor Track & Field National Championship meet.

They may not be perfect, but they have perfect intentions. This is the philosophy by which the Bethel Track and Field team lives, and it’s been the key to their success.

Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams won the 2015 NCCAA Indoor Championships this past spring, totaling eight national championship wins for the team in as many seasons.

Their secret: Christ-centered unity.

“We are a family,” says Ahmad Evans, a senior sports studies major on the team. “This is literally my family away from home. …We all look out for each other no matter what.”

This success hasn’t come without obstacles, however. Due to limited training facilities on campus, the team was resourceful with finding practice space, utilizing room in the basement of Bridges Hall and John Young Middle School.

“Basically, anywhere we can find [we train],” says Head Coach Tony Natali, adding that his assistant coaches are good at finding practice facilities.

While preparing for the indoor season, the team focused more on their goal than their challenges.

“We knew we only had a limited amount of time to work outside using the weather to our advantage; we knew we were going to be in the basement of the Lodge for the majority of the season, but we didn’t let that stop us,” says Evans. “We stayed focused, worked hard, and strived for one goal — to become NCCAA Indoor Champions.”

This is a sentiment echoed by the entire team.

“Every team member is important, valued and has a role on our team,” says Taylor Tepper, a senior chemistry/biochemistry and molecular biology major on the team. She adds that limited facilities make the team even more determined to succeed.

Natali is excited for the 2015-2016 season, and he knows one thing will remain constant: the team’s deliberate show of respect and courtesy to those around them.

“I know it’s not about us,” says Natali. “We talk about respecting each other from the very first meeting in August. When we go to hotels and restaurants … we are very intentional on showing respect and being Christ-centered. We’re not perfect, but we have perfect intentions.”

Learn more about the Men’s and Women’s Track Teams at the Home of the Bethel Pilots: