Track and Field Shows Well At UNC
Feb. 14, 2009
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The East Carolina track and field program competed at North Carolina for the second time this season, participating in the Carolina Invitational inside the Eddie Smith Field House. The meet served as the final tune up before the Conference USA Indoor Championships, slated for Feb. 28-29 in Houston, Texas. The men's and women's programs responded, turning in 26 top 10 finishes and one event title on the day.
Tenesia Simpson started things off for the ladies, competing in the 60-meter dash for the first time this season, notched a season-best time of 7.94 in the finals, taking 14th-place. Then, in the 400-meter dash, Chante Sessoms and Ericka Charles recorded top season times of 59.59 and 1:00.81, respectively, finishing in 16th and 21st. Freshman Amanda Lapp followed with the first top 10 finish of the day, earning 10th with a career-low time of 2:22.34. A pair of upperclassmen, Samantha Lichtner and Hollie Brooks, then represented the Pirates in the one-mile run, garnering fifth and 10th-place nods with respective 5:13.45 and 5:17.86 marks. Moving to the hurdles, JaQuanda Wright qualified for the finals with a season-best time of 8.87, and eventually ended up in eighth in the finals, turning in an 8.98 mark. Then, the 4x400 relay squad smashed its top season time, finishing the event in 3:57.46.
In the field events, Meghan Horne missed her season-best mark by just .03 meters in the high jump, taking eighth-place with a jump of 1.58 meters. Freshman Abby Way continued the program's success, sitting third in the pole vault with a mark of 3.40. Then, Sessoms produced a career-high jump of 5.43 meters in the long jump, earning fourth-place. Wrapping up the field events for the ladies was a quartet of top 10 finishes, including a third-place nod for Danielle Eiler in the shot put, fifth and sixth-place rankings for Charlene Grady and Kim Kanala in the weight throw and an event title for sophomore Megan Lewis in the open weight throw event (mark of 14.45).
Kevin Thompson notched the first top 10 finish for the men, taking eighth with a season-best time of 6.94, just .01 ahead of his mark at the first UNC meet. Freshman Lorenzo Norfolk also finished eighth in the 200-meter dash, running in 22.78. Then, Adian Sanderson recorded his first time of the year in the 400-meter event, earning sixth with a time of 50.17. Yet another top 10 finish was in the fold for the men, this time in the 800-meter run as freshman Gregory Manning turned in a career-best time of 1:57.38, good for seventh-place. Then, in the 3000-meter event, a pair of Pirates in Zachary Montijo and Andrew Nastasiak picked up fifth and eighth-place nods with two season-best times of 8:41.63 and 8:54.10, respectively. In the 60-meter hurdles, Kris Bell continued to prepare to defend last season's C-USA Indoor title, finishing in fourth with a time of 8.09. Mario Briscoe also ended up in the top 10, turning in a ninth-place result (8.37). Closing out the track portion for the men was the 4x400 relay team notching its second-best time of the campaign (3:21.95) and finishing in fourth-place.
East Carolina kept up the momentum in the field, as Bayani Jones finished eighth in the high jump with a mark of 1.83. Then Addison Johnson also took eighth in the pole vault, missing his season-best vault by just .1 meters as he picked up a mark of 4.00 meters before Daniel Varela ended the day with a fourth-place nod in the weight throw (14.79m).
The Pirates will now take the next two weeks to prepare for the 2009 Conference USA Indoor Championships, hosted by the University of Houston from Feb. 28-29 inside the Athletics and Alumni Center.