ECU Women in First after Day One at C-USA Championships

Drew Kanz

March 1, 2014

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - After one day of competition at the Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Championships, the East Carolina women's team is in first place with 29 points, while the men's squad sits in third with 34.5 points.

UTEP leads the men with 42 points after six scored events, while UTSA is in second with 38 points. The Pirates are just 7.5 points out of first place as they lead Rice, which sits in fourth with 28 points. Charlotte (25.5 points), Tulsa (20 points), Louisiana Tech (15.5 points), and North Texas (13 points) occupy fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth place, respectively, while Southern Miss (7.5 points), Middle Tennessee (7 points) and FIU (3 points) round out the men's teams.

Behind ECU on the women's side is UTSA with 25 points for second place and UAB with 24 points to claim third. Louisiana Tech (21 points), Middle Tennessee (18 points) and FIU (13 points) are in fourth, fifth and sixth place, respectively. Tulsa and Rice are tied in seventh with 12 points each, while just one point separates Tulane (11 points), UTEP (10 points), Charlotte (9 points) and Marshall (8 points) for ninth, 10th, 11th, and 12th. North Texas sits in 13th place with three points through five events scored.

The East Carolina women were led by junior thrower Kayla Padgett who won the 20-pound weight throw with a heave of 20.87-meters (68-05.75). Padgett set the tone for the remainder of the Pirates who all turned in solid outings. Kaylee Redon notched a career-best mark of 17.81-meters (58-05.25) for third in the event, while Dana Keister registered a personal-best mark of 17.07-meters (56-00.00) to claim fifth. Chloe Early rounded out the ECU participants with a mark of 16.58-mters (54-04.75) for an eighth-place finish.

In the long jump, Cheyenne Hutchinson and Leah Lott each set personal best marks. Hutchinson placed sixth with a tally of 5.78-meters (18-11.75), while Lott finished seventh with a mark of 5.77-meters (18-11.25).

On the track, Tania Minkins recorded a pair of qualifying times in the 60-meter dash (7.47) and the 200-meter dash (24.12). Erin Tucker also posted a qualifying time in the 60-meter dash as she finished the preliminaries with an identical time of 7.47. She came back and registered a time of 8.44 in the 60-meter hurdles to qualify for the finals on Saturday.

Aiesha Goggins will return to the track tomorrow in the 400-meter dash after registering a qualifying time of 55.81 in the preliminary round today.

Senior Brooke Kott also notched a qualifying time on the track as the senior distance runner posted a time of 2:13.32 in the 800-meter run.

Freshman Aminah Ghaffar turned in a solid effort in the pentathlon as she finished ninth with a total of 3,217 points. She notched a personal-best mark of 1.53-meters (5-00.25) in the high jump as she collected 655 points to go towards her total.

Senior Drew Kanz won the men's high jump as he recorded a career-best mark of 2.18-meters (7-01.75) in the event. He was followed by ECU school record holder Avion Jones who tallied a mark of 2.15-meters (7-00.50) for a second-place finish. Sophomore Joey Muzzio notched a personal-best mark of 2.05-meters (6-08.75) to finish sixth for the Pirates.

Austin Lewis will compete for East Carolina again tomorrow as he recorded a career-best and qualifying time of 6.85 in the 60-meter dash. He also tallied a personal-best time of 21.77 in the 200-meter dash, narrowly missing a qualifying time. However, the Pirates will still have representation in the 200-meter dash as Michael Neal posted a personal-best and qualifying time of 21.75 in the event.

Ben McKinzie earned a qualifying time in the 400-meter dash after he notched a career-best time of 48.24. He finished ahead of teammate Chandler Chase who also registered a personal-best time of 50.60, but did not qualify for the finals on Saturday.

Senior Jakub Trzasalski will represent East Carolina in the 800-meter run after posting a qualifying time of 1:53.46. He led Dylan Traywick (1:54.83) and John Crossley (1:55.82) in the event as the pair both notched personal-best times, but fell short of qualifying for the finals.

In the men's 60-meter hurdles, freshman Travis Phillips turned in a lifetime best effort as he qualified for the finals with a time of 8.16.

ECU school record holder, Henry Johnson, placed second in the men's pole vault after recording a clearance of 5.15-meters (16-10.75). He paced Aaron Zakula (4.75-meters, 15-07.00) and Adam Tuck (4.45-meters, 14-07.25) who finished fourth and ninth, respectively.

The Pirates will close out the Conference USA Indoor Championship on Saturday, March 1 beginning at 10 a.m. (CT).