Pirates Snag 13 Titles At Charlotte
April 24, 2011
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - An East Carolina sweep of the relay events Saturday highlighted the Pirates' participation in the Charlotte Invitational at Irwin Beck Track and Transamerica Field. The meet was the final tuneup for the 2011 Conference USA Outdoor Championships in Houston.
Overall, ECU won 13 titles in addition to receiving a school-record performance by freshman Erin Tucker in the 100-meter hurdles. Tucker ran 13.99 to surpass the old standard by the slimmest of margins - .01 seconds.
Four events were contested under less than ideal weather conditions Friday night, but that did not stop the Pirates from winning each of them. Maegan Lewis captured the hammer with a throw of 55.25 meters while Taylor Harris took javelin top honors - throwing 36.40 meters. Like their female counterparts, the tandem of Montrell Morrow and Spencer Barrick won their respective disciplines, as Morrow threw a 56.90 in the hammer and Barrick reached 57.56 meters in the javelin.
Sophomore All-America high jumper Tynita Butts was a dual winner as Saturday's events opened under sunny skies and warm temperatures. She took the long jump with a mark of 5.98 meters before pacing the field in her specialty - jumping 1.68 meters. On the men's side, Drew Kanz followed suit in the high jump, capturing the event with a mark of 1.93 meters.
Over on the track, both the men's and women's 4x100 relay squads distanced themselves from the competition, recording times of 40.30 and 46.05 respectively. While that was going on, Morrow and Dennis Aliotta were busy in the shot put, earning second and fifth place - throwing 49.94 and 46.14 meters. Austin Lewis rounded out the first wave of field events, taking second in the long jump at 7.16 meters. He also turned in a third-place result in the 100-meter dash, clocking in at 10.49. About 45 minutes before that, Tucker ran her school-record time and placed second.
Poland native Jakub Trzasalski was next for ECU in the 800-meter run. He was able to add to the Pirates' title haul as he eventually overtook the field and finished just off his lifetime personal record in the event, checking in with a time of 1:52.37. Freshman Aiesha Goggins stepped up in the 200-meter dash, passing Amara Jones from Savannah State as the athletes came out of the turn, and winning the event in a photo finish at 23.85.
Meanwhile, in the vaulting area, the East Carolina men dominated the proceedings and took three of the top four spots. Aaron Zakula was the event winner with a mark of 4.60 meters while Stephen Hodapp captured second and Henry Johnson was fourth. Kim Kanala also represented the Pirates solidly in the discus as she produced a second-place result with a mark of 42.20 meters.
The Pirates waited until the last three events of the day to provide some thrilling finishes. Behind for the most of the race in the 3000-meter run, Amanda Lapp found a second wind in the last 400 meters and blew past Laura McCary of the host Charlotte squad, winning the event by over eight seconds with a time of 9:39.25.
The most intense events were the final two of the day, with ECU sending its male and female 4x400 relay teams to the line. The Pirates stayed just behind UNC Wilmington for a majority of the time, but on the last leg, Christopher Richardson made his move and was able to surpass the Seahawks Nick Pederzolli, giving East Carolina top honors. The Pirates would finish in a time of 3:12.58.
In the women's race, the Pirates faced a sizable deficit entering the final 400. However, Goggins made up the time and was able to overcome UNC Wilmington's Kortnie Coleman out of the final turn as ECU completed the relays sweep and capped the day at 3:43.45.
East Carolina will now take two weeks off to rest and recover for the conference meet, scheduled for May 12-15. The University of Houston will serve as the host institution.