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Track & Field Continues Hot Start with Another Record-Setting Weekend

Go Tigers! Dylan Spadaccini
Go Tigers!
Dylan Spadaccini
Go Tigers!

Jan. 27, 2013

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - In their second meet in as many weeks the East Carolina Track and Field team set five school records in an impressive showing at the Penn State National over the last two days. The Pirates won four events and senior Tynita Butts recorded the second-best mark in the nation, set an ECU record, as well as a new meet, facility, and Penn State University record in the women's high jump.

Butts' mark of 6-02.75 (1.90m) bested her previous personal-best and East Carolina school record for a first-place finish in the women's high jump. Additionally, the Alexandria, Va., native also won the women's long jump with a 19-11.50 (6.08m) mark.

Just a week after setting a new ECU record in the women's 60-meter hurdles, Erin Tucker came back and bested her previous time by .06 seconds for a time of 8.46. Tucker's time was good for a fifth-place finish in the semi-finals. She followed that outing with a fifth-place finish in the finals with a time of 8.49.

Tania Minkins turned in a record-setting effort in the women's 60-meter dash as she notched a new ECU record of 7.39 for a third-place finish in the semi-finals. She previously posted a time of 7.45 for second place in the preliminaries and placed fifth in the finals with a time of 7.46. In the finals, teammate Tyshonda Hawkins set a new personal best time for herself with a mark of 7.44, which is good for second in the ECU Top 10, for a third-place finish.

Senior Stephen Hodapp was excellent in the men's pole vault invitational with an ECU record-setting mark of 16-00.75 (4.90m) for a fourth-place finish. Last season, Hodapp had set a personal record mark of 15-08.25 (4.78m) and bested it by almost four inches at Penn State.

The final ECU record was set in the men's heptathlon as Dylan Spadaccini collected 4,695 points for a third-place finish in the event. Spadaccini was followed by Aaron Zakula (4,218 points) and Jason Dijols (3,715 points) who finished fourth and seventh, respectively, in the event. Zakula's mark is good for fourth in the ECU Top 10, while Dijols' ranks him seventh.

Zakula won the men's heptathlon pole vault event with an indoor personal best mark of 15-07.75 (4.77m). He was followed by Spadaccini's second-place finish with a personal record mark of 14-09.50 (4.51m).

Quinton Harley won the men's 500-meter dash with a personal best time of 1:04.82. His previous personal record was 1:05.41 set last week at Virginia Tech. Later, Harley would earn a personal record time of 8.27 in the men's 60-meter hurdles (preliminaries) which is good for eighth on the ECU Top 10 list.

Head Coach Curt Kraft was very pleased with his teams' performances as he said, "The goal for the weekend was to see continued improvement from both teams. Not only did we meet that goal, but we by far exceeded it."

Freshman Cameron Hudson, who was coming off of an impressive showing at Virginia Tech the week before, set a new personal record for himself in the men's 60-meter dash finals with a time of 6.77 for a third-place finish. That time is good for seventh on the ECU Men's Top 10. Following Hudson was Torrance Hunt with a time of 6.86 for fourth.

On the women's side, Minkins and Hawkins garnered second and fourth place, respectively, in the women's 200-meter dash invitational. Minkins finished with a time of 23.75, while Hawkins' time of 23.89 moved her into second place on the ECU Women's Top 10 List.

Olivia Slate, fresh off of setting a new ECU record last week, finished second in the women's mile run with a time of 4:57.40. She now holds third place in the ECU Women's Top 10.

In the women's 3,000-meter run, junior Chelsea Hollingsworth moved up to second on the ECU Women's Top 10 list with her personal-best time of 9:57.77. Hollingsworth finished fourth in the event, while Stephanie Fresenius finished 11th with a time of 10:16.30.

Sophomore Kayla Padgett set a new personal record of 60-01.00 (18.31m) in the women's 20-pound weight throw. Her mark was good for a fourth-place finish in the event and a second-place spot on the ECU Women's Top 10 list. She was followed by Kaylee Redon (51-09.00 (15.77m)) and Chloe Early (49-01.00 (14.96m)) who finished in the top 20.

In addition to the many impressive performances, several more Pirates recorded ECU Top 10 marks including Cheyenne Hutchinson in the 60-meter hurdles for a personal best time of 8.73 for third in ECU's record book, Padgett in the shot put with a mark of 45-06.50 (13.88m) to tie her personal record and place her fourth on the ECU Top 10 list. On the men's side, Tevin Richardson found his way into the ECU Top 10, with a time of 1:23.74 in the men's 600-meter run to rank sixth in the ECU record book, while Brather Cline's time of 2:30.18 in the men's 1,000-meter run was good for fifth in the ECU Men's Top 10 list.

"Any time your teams start performing on a consistent basis it's a positive sign that good things are on the horizon," Kraft stated. "It was without a question a very successful weekend and another step in the right direction."

The Pirates have the next two weeks to prepare for the Spire Invitational in Geneva, Ohio beginning on Friday, February 8, and concluding the following day.