Pirates Win 14 Events, Finish Second at Bill Carson Invitational

Kayla Padgett

April 12, 2014

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina track and field team turned in a strong showing at the inaugural Bill Carson Invitational at the ECU Track and Field Complex. The Pirates finished second on both the men's and women's side behind South Carolina, which won the meet. ECU concluded the weekend with several personal records, 14 event victories and three school records.

The Pirate women tallied 205 points behind South Carolina's 216, while the Pirate men fell just short of first with 190 points as the Gamecocks recorded 192.5. Charlotte claimed third on both sides with the women registering 140 points and the men notching 164, while UNC Wilmington finished fourth with 105 points on the women's side and 101.5 on the men's.

"I was excited about the three teams, South Carolina, Charlotte and UNC Wilmington, that came here to kick off this event," Head coach Curt Kraft said about the meet. "Any time you have an SEC school that comes on your campus it's a major thing. So, we were excited about South Carolina being here. We just hope that in the future our administration and our athletic director, Jeff Compher, sit back and assess this and look at this as something that we want to continue to do."

East Carolina's three school record efforts came in two field events and in the women's 4x100-meter relay. Junior thrower Kayla Padgett notched a school-record mark on the first day of competition as she won the hammer with a heave of 63.50-meters (208-04.00). On the second day of action, sophomore jumper Avion Jones won the men's high jump with a school record mark of 2.17-meters (7-01.50). On the track, the Pirates' 4x100-meter relay squad of Tania Minkins, Tyshonda Hawkins, Erin Tucker and Jasmine Dawson set a new ECU standard with a time of 44.83 to win the event.

"We set three school records during this meet and any time you're setting school records and having season bests and personal records, you're doing the right thing," Kraft said. "I think this meet is going to set us up for the future meets with the momentum that we have right now."

Ten of the Pirates' 14 event victories came in the field. Padgett won three events in the hammer (63.50-meters, 208-04.00), the discus (50.91-meters, 167-00.00), and the shot put (14.56-meters, 47-09.50). Jones captured first in the high jump (2.17-meters, 7-01.50) and the triple jump (15.19-meters, 49-10.00). His mark in the triple jump was a new personal best for the Virginia Beach, Va., native.

Additionally, Tynita Butts won the women's high jump with a clearance of 1.85-meters (6-00.75) which was just .02 meters shy of her school record and personal record mark of 1.87-meters.

Lauren Lubarski won the women's javelin throw as she notched a mark of 43.73-meters (143-06.00) to claim first. Her heave was 13.5 feet better than the second place finisher.

In the men's pole vault, Henry Johnson and Aaron Zakula tied for first as the pair recorded identical marks of 4.90-meters (16-00.75). Adam Tuck earned a third place finish with a personal record mark of 4.75-meters (15-07.00) to rank fourth on the ECU top 10 list.

Cameron Hudson was the event winner in the men's long jump as he recorded a tally of 7.31-meters (23-11.75). He set the tone for teammates Austin Lewis (7.29-meters, 23-11.00) and Alexander Mobley-Hollie (6.98-meters, 22-11.00) who finished second and sixth, respectively.

Redshirt senior Montrell Morrow took home gold in the men's hammer throw as he tallied a heave of 62.83-meters (206-02.00) in the event. His mark was nearly 24 feet further than the second place finisher who recorded a mark of 55.63-meters (182-06.00).

On the track, East Carolina recorded four first-place finishes. Tania Minkins boasted an event-winning time of 11.66 in the women's 100-meter dash. She paced teammate Jasmine Dawson who finished third with a personal-record time of 11.72. Dawson now ranks third in the ECU record book.

The Pirates also won the women's 100-meter hurdles, as Erin Tucker turned in a time of 13.40 to earn gold. Her time was just .02 seconds shy of her school record time of 13.38. Leah Lott placed fifth in the event with a new personal record time of 14.02 which now ranks her second all-time.

Furthermore, East Carolina won both the 4x100-meter relay events. The Pirate women set a school record with their time of 44.83 to take first. The Pirate men's squad of Hudson, Lewis, Michael Neal and Hunter Furr followed and turned in a season-best time of 39.89 to edge out South Carolina as the Gamecocks finished with a time of 40.05.

In addition to the 14 event victories and three school record setting performances, the Pirates also tallied an impressive 22 personal records at the Bill Carson Invitational.

"It's an understatement to say that we were excited [to host our first track meet since 2003]," Kraft said. "It's been absolutely thrilling for the student-athletes. It's been good for the community of Greenville. It's a great feeling to know that our kids now can compete at their home venue. We were excited about being here and it ended on a great note. We were very excited and honored to do this."

East Carolina will be back in action on Friday, April 18 at the Charlotte 49er Classic. The two-day event will conclude on Saturday, April 19.

"We have to use this momentum to go into the next meet and hopefully this carries into the Conference USA Championship," Kraft explained. "The goal is to win the men's and women's conference championships. That's always the goal."

The Pirates have two more meets (the Charlotte 49er Classic and the Penn Relays) before heading to Houston, Texas for the Conference USA Outdoor Championships which run from Thursday, May 15 - to Sunday, Mary 18.

Men's Team Rankings
1. South Carolina - 192.5
2. East Carolina - 190
3. Charlotte - 164
4. UNC Wilmington - 101.5

Women's Team Rankings
1. South Carolina - 216
2. East Carolina - 205
3. Charlotte - 140
4. UNC Wilmington - 105