Feb. 25, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Joseph Samuels and Tynita Butts earned first place finishes in the men's 60-meter hurdles and women's high jump, respectively, as the East Carolina track and field team competed at the 2013 Indoor Conference USA Championships. Over the weekend, the Pirates won four individual events and set five school records. The men finished in third place with 108 points, to tie their highest ever finish, while the women placed fourth with 59 points. Houston won the men's indoor championship with 143 points, while UCF claimed the women's title with 132.5 points.
Samuels won the men's 60-meter hurdles finals with a time of 7.91. Previously he had placed first in the preliminaries of the same event with a qualifying time of 7.84. Demonte Wilson placed fifth in the men's 60-meter hurdles finals with a personal best time of 8.18 which is good for seventh on the ECU Indoor Top 10 list. Quinton Harley rounded out the Pirate trio with an eighth-place finish in the event with a time of 8.53.
Butts won her fourth high jump event of the indoor season as she leapt 1.83m (6-00.00), which was four inches better than the second place finisher. Her performance in the women's high jump came a day after she turned in a third-place finish in the women's long jump with a mark of 5.96m (19-06.75).
In the women's 400-meter dash finals, Tiffany Harris bettered the previous Conference USA meet record with a time of 54.12 for a third-place finish in the event. Another notable performance from the Lady Pirates came from Tyshonda Hawkins in the women's 200-meter dash finals. Hawkins earned a third-place finish with a personal best and ECU school record time of 23.63 in the event.
Harris and Hawkins joined Kathryn Warner and Janieyah Collins in the women's 4x400-meter relay. With Harris kicking things off and Hawkins running anchor, the foursome finished fifth with a time of 3:45.47. Their time slides the squad into 10th on the ECU Indoor Top 10 list.
Senior Aaron Zakula bettered his previous school-record mark of 4.90m (16-00.75) in the men's pole vault as he notched an impressive mark of 4.97m (16-03.50) for a fourth-place finish. Henry Johnson placed fifth with a mark of 4.82m (15-09.75), and Stephen Hodapp recorded a mark of 4.67m (15-03.75) for an eighth-place finish.
Dylan Spadaccini and Jason Dijols represented the Pirates in the heptathlon at the C-USA Championships. Dijols set a new ECU heptathlon record in the 60-meter hurdles as he bettered his previous personal record time of 8.68 by .03 seconds to notch a time of 8.65 and finish sixth in the event. Both Pirates set new career bests for themselves in the 1,000-meter run as Spadaccini recorded a time of 2:48.00 and Dijols tallied a time of 3:00.48. In the men's pole vault of the heptathlon, Dijols added .04 meters to his previous personal record to register a mark of 3.24m (10-07.50). Spadaccini finished the heptathlon with a career best and ECU school record 4,734 points, while Dijols registered a personal record 4,170 points to rank sixth on the ECU Indoor Top 10 list.
"All in all it was a pretty good weekend," Head Coach Curt Kraft said. "Anytime you leave a conference championship without a trophy there is going to be some disappointment because the goal always remains the same and that is to be conference champions on both the men's and women's sides. To say that we didn't accomplish any goals would be a far stretch from the truth. We have four C-USA Individual champions, set five school records, had many season bests, and lifetime personal bests."
On the track, Torrance Hunt set a new personal record in the men's 60-meter dash finals with a time of 6.73 for a third-place finish. His teammates, Cameron Hudson (6.78) and Michael Neal (6.94) finished fourth and seventh, respectively.
Hudson tallied a personal best time of his own in the men's 200-meter dash finals as he ran the event in 21.64 and placed sixth. He was followed by Neal's time of 21.83 for a seventh-place finish.
Brather Cline and Austin Miller were the ECU participants in the men's mile run finals, and both bettered their personal best times. Cline tallied a time of 4:19.95 for a ninth-place finish and Miller finished 12th with a time of 4:23.68.
In the men's triple jump finals Allan Bordley placed fourth with a personal best mark of 14.80m (48-06.75) to lead the Pirates. Miles Coats followed suit with a career-best mark of 14.77m (48-05.50) for a fifth-place finish. Joshua King (14.72m, 48-03.50) and Alexander Mobley-Hollie (13.24m (43-05.25) rounded out the quartet of Pirates competing in the event.
"The expectations of this coaching staff and what we expect of this team are very high." Kraft stated. "We as a staff, and as a team, will now refocus and turn our attention to the outdoor season. We can't waste too much time dwelling on the past or we'll miss out on the goals for the future."
The Pirates will return to action on Friday, March 1, as the squad will split, and half of the Pirates will head to the Virginia Tech Invitational, while the rest will compete at the Alex Wilson Invite at Notre Dame. Both meets are two-day events and will conclude on Saturday, March 2.