Collegiate track athletes from across the nation invaded downtown Naperville during the NCAA Division III Indoor Track Championships, bringing with them their bright running shoes, matching team warm-ups and a desire to win.
The combination of about 470 athletes participating in 15 events over two days and 2,000 cheering fans created an intense environment for the meet, held March 8 and 9 at North Central College's Al B. Carius Track.
North Central Sports Information Director Clark Teuscher described the vibe at the Residence Hall/Recreation Center that houses the track as "a pretty spirited atmosphere."
Track stars competing in running, throwing and jumping events said there's nothing like the feel of a championship event, with its big stage, high stakes and call for team togetherness.
Hosting it all were the North Central Cardinals -- both indoor team members competing over the weekend and outdoor team members about to begin their season. The Cardinals men's team entered the meet ranked fourth and finished in eighth, behind several Wisconsin colleges that dominated the event.
Check out these images from the weekend as indoor track athletes sprint, jump, throw and celebrate while Division III schools competed for the championship.