Feb. 2, 2014
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The East Carolina track and field program had a successful weekend at the Penn State National as the Pirates won three events and set six new school records. Additionally, the Pirates walked away from the prestigious indoor meet with an abundance of personal-best times.
"The coaching staff felt like our teams made huge strides this weekend," Head Coach Curt Kraft said. "Anytime you leave a track meet and set six school records and have numerous lifetime bests, you've had a great weekend. I felt like we competed with a sense of urgency this weekend. As a coaching staff, we couldn't be more excited and proud of what our teams accomplished this past weekend."
On day one, freshman Aminah Ghaffar got things going for the Pirates as she broke a 17-year old school record in the pentathlon after tallying 3,248 points to finish in the top 10. Ghaffar racked up 120 more points than the previous school record which was set in 1997 by former Pirate Saundra Real.
The school records continued to shatter when junior thrower Kayla Padgett broke her own record in the women's 20-pound weight throw as she registered a toss of 21.95-meters (72-00.25) to capture first in the event. This season, Padgett has reset the school record in the women's weight throw on three separate occasions. Her newest mark is good for second in the nation.
Later on the first day of competition, senior Erin Tucker bettered her own school record in the 60-meter hurdles by .03 seconds as she finished in the top 10 of the semi-finals with a time of 8.31.
East Carolina continued its solid performances on the second day at the Penn State National as junior Dylan Spadaccini turned in a solid effort in the heptathlon. The Matawan, N.J., native won the pole vault in the heptathlon with a mark of 4.50-meters (14-09.00) en route to setting a new ECU school record with 4,793 points. He bettered the previous school record he set last season by 59 points.
Freshman Avion Jones continued the trend of record-setting performances as he set a new standard for the Pirates in the high jump with a mark of 2.17-meters (7-01.50). Jones' mark was good for a second-place finish in the event.
Rounding out the record-breaking efforts was senior Brooke Kott as she finished fourth in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:52.03 to set a new East Carolina school record. Her time was almost two seconds faster than the previous record set last year.
The Pirates also captured first in three field events as freshman Taylor Drummonds won the women's pole vault with a personal-best mark of 3.56-meters (11-08.00). Drummonds' mark is good for eight all-time at East Carolina. Additionally, sophomore Cameron Hudson placed first in the men's long jump with a career-best mark of 7.56-meters (24-09.75). His mark moves him into second place on the ECU all-time list.
"Now the goal is not to be satisfied and to continue to improve," Kraft said. "We have to have a great week of practice and get ready for the Virginia Tech Elite meet."
East Carolina will see action next week at the Virginia Tech Elite competition beginning on Friday, February 7, and concluding Saturday, February 8, in Blacksburg, Va.