Feb. 11, 2013
GENEVA, Ohio - The East Carolina track and field teams were led by Tynita Butts and Torrance Hunt as the pair each won an event at the SPIRE Invitational over the weekend. Butts' mark of 1.86m (6-01.25) set a new SPIRE Invitational facility record in the women's high jump. Additionally, Henry Johnson and Aaron Zakula both tied the ECU school record in the men's pole vault.
Butts has earned a first-place finish in every women's high jump event in which she has competed this season. Her 1.86m mark to win the event and set a new facility record comes on the heels of her record-setting weekend at the Penn State National in which she set a personal-best, ECU record, and Penn State National facility record with a mark of 1.90m (6-02.75) en route to a third-best jump in the nation.
Hunt got things started with a time of 6.90 in the men's 60-meter dash prelims for a third-place finish. He followed that with a first-place finish in the finals as he bettered his previous time by .10 seconds to earn a personal-best time of 6.80 in the event which ranks him tied for ninth on the ECU top 10 list. Out of 45 runners, ECU's trio of Hunt, Michael Neal (6.95), and Hunter Furr (7.00) finished in the top 10 as each set a new personal record for himself.
Henry Johnson and Aaron Zakula each notched a personal-best mark of 4.90m (16-00.75) in the men's pole vault to tie the East Carolina school record which was set two weeks ago by teammate Stephen Hodapp at the Penn State National. Johnson and Zakula finished in the top 15 in the event.
In addition to the record-setting weekend and pair of first-place finishes, the Pirates had a number of student-athletes set new personal-bests for themselves as well as jump into the ECU top 10 list. Tiffany Harris bettered her previous personal record time of 54.36 in the women's 400-meter dash as she registered a time of 53.95. With her new mark, Harris now ranks second in the ECU women's indoor top 10.
Olivia Slate knocked six seconds off of her personal-best time in the women's 800-meter run for a new record time of 2:10.14 which is good for fourth on the East Carolina top 10 list. She concluded the event with a top 25 finish.
In the women's weight throw Kayla Padgett recorded a mark of 16.57m (54-04.50) for a top-20 finish, while Kaylee Redon notched a personal-best mark of 15.86m (52-00.50) in the event to finish in the top 25 for the Pirates.
Freshman Madison Rayfield was the only Lady Pirate to compete in the multi-events and she finished with a total of 2,814 points in the pentathlon which ranks fourth in the ECU top 10 list. Rayfield finished the 800-meter run with a time of 2:43.33 while posting a time of 9.58 in the 60-meter hurdles. In the field she posted a mark of 1.45m (4-09.00) in the high jump, 4.77m (15-07.75) in the long jump, and 8.37m (27-05.50) in the shot put.
The Pirate men had a successful outing in the 600-meter run as Jakub Trzasalski led the way with a seventh-place finish after recording a personal-best time of 1:20.68. His new personal record now ranks second in the ECU top 10 list. Teammate Brandon Dunford followed suit with a personal-best time of his own (1:21.28) to finish 11th and rank fourth in the ECU top 10. Antonio Palmer (1:21.35), Michael Quercia (1:21.56), and Tevin Richardson (1:22.18) finished 12th, 14th, and 16th, respectively, in the event. Palmer and Richardson recorded personal-bests and are now ranked fifth and sixth in the ECU top 10, respectively. Quercia currently holds the ECU school record in the event with a time of 1:20.22 which he set in 2012.
Trzasalski, Quercia, and Palmer returned to the track in the men's 800-meter run as Trzasalski and Palmer placed in the top 20 with times of 1:52.66 and 1:52.99, respectively. Palmer's time of 1:53.79 was a new personal record and good for 26th in the event and sixth in the ECU top 10. Quercia is the ECU record holder in the men's 800-meter after posting a time of 1:49.99 last season, while Trzasalski is ranked third with a personal record time of 1:50.57 which he ran in 2012.
Brather Cline recorded a seventh place finish in the men's 1,000-meter run with a new personal record time of 2:28.21 to lead the Pirates. The sophomore from Denver, N.C., now ranks fourth on ECU's top 10 list. Also in the event, John Young finished in the top 20 with a time of 2:44.61.
In the field, Drew Kanz placed ninth in the men's high jump with a mark of 2.08m (6-09.75). Freshman Joshua King finished behind him with a personal-best mark of 1.93m (6-04.00) to etch his name into the ECU top 10 list as he slid into ninth place.
Dylan Spadaccini and Jason Dijols competed in the heptathlon for the Pirates. Spadaccini set a new high jump heptathlon mark of 1.87m (6-02.75) as he finished second in the event. He also placed second in the pole vault heptathlon after notching a mark of 4.30m (14-01.25). Jason Dijols placed third in the 60-meter hurdles heptathlon with a time of 8.68.
"As always, the indoor season passes quickly," Head Coach Curt Kraft said. "We feel pretty good, as a staff, coming off the weekend's performances. We continued to make improvements with both squads, but at the same time, we as a coaching staff know that if we are trying to accomplish our goals at the Conference USA Championships that there are people that still have to step up and do what they are capable of doing. We now have two weeks to get refocused and get healthy before we enter the conference championships."
The Pirates return to action on Saturday, February 23, when they complete in the Conference USA Championships in Birmingham, Ala. The conference championships will conclude the following day on February 24. Live results will be available on ECUPirates.com.