May 13, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas - The East Carolina track and field team set at least one new school record in each day of the 2013 Conference USA Outdoor Championships en route to the men's squad finishing fifth with 69 points and the women's team taking ninth after tallying 51.5 points. On the final day of competition, Lauren Lubarski and Erin Tucker set new school records in the women's javelin and 100-meter hurdles, respectively.
Lubarski earned a second-place finish in the women's javelin with a career-best mark of 48.32m (158-06.00) to claim first in the ECU record book. She shattered her previous career-best of 43.27m (141-11.00) by 16.5 feet while besting former Pirate Nicole Tozzi's school record mark of 48.14m (157-11.00) by seven inches. Teammate Krista Vincent took fourth in the event after posting a mark of 42.98m (141-00.00).
Earlier this season, Tucker set the women's 100-meter hurdles school record with a time of 13.53. Today at the C-USA Outdoor Championships, she shaved .03 seconds off of her previous career best and recorded a fifth-place finish with a new school record time of 13.50.
In addition to today's two school records, the Pirates' Kayla Padgett (women's discus), Madison Rayfield (heptathlon), and Dylan Spadaccini (decathlon) rewrote the ECU record book with record breaking marks in their respective events over the course of the four-day championship meet.
Although the Pirates did not earn any individual event titles, head coach Curt Kraft was optimistic about the meet and what the future holds for the East Carolina track and field program.
"For the most part, we had a pretty good conference meet," Kraft stated. "We set five school records, had numerous personal bests and lifetime bests. Our goal as a team is always to win conference championships and when you don't accomplish that, there is always a sense of disappointment.
"The good news is, we only lose a few seniors on both sides and have our 21 redshirts back for next year, along with a great recruiting class coming in. We are very excited for next year as we anticipate a bright future for both programs."
In the final day of competition, several more Pirates earned career bests. Among them, Demonte Wilson notched a new personal-best time for himself in the final men's 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.61. He placed fourth in the event, while Quinton Harley earned a seventh-place finish with a time of 15.08.
Kyle Hefkin tallied a career-best mark of 60.89m (199-09.00) in the men's javelin throw for a fifth-place finish. His mark is good for sixth in the ECU career record book.
Thomas Lehman's mark of 45.23m (148-05.00) in the men's hammer throw is a personal best for the freshman out of Cary, N.C. He finished ninth in the event.
The Pirates also tallied several top three finishes at the 2013 C-USA Outdoor Championships. Tiffany Harris was among the medal winners as she earned a third-place finish in the women's 400-meter dash finals with a time of 53.16.
Harley turned in a time of 52.05 to earn second place in the finals of the men's 400-meter hurdles. He was followed by Patrick Jones' fifth-place finish of 54.72.
The UTEP men won the 2013 Conference USA Outdoor Championships with 166.5 points. Houston finished second with 152.5 points, while Tulsa placed third (147 points), and Memphis took fourth (115 points). ECU's 69 points earned the Pirates a fifth-place finish, while Rice (68 points), Southern Miss (55 points), and Tulane (41 points) rounded out the men's standings.
UCF won on the women's side with 167 points. The Knights were followed by SMU (99.5 points) and Houston (81 points) which took second and third, respectively. Memphis (79 points) earned a fourth-place finish, while Marshall (63 points) placed fifth, and UTEP (62 points) claimed sixth. UAB finished right behind UTEP as the Blazers posted 61 points. Rice (56 points) took eighth and the Pirate women (51.5 points) placed ninth. Tulsa (42 points), Tulane (35 points), and Southern Miss (22 points) finished 10th, 11th, and 12th, respectively.
Next up for East Carolina is the NCAA Regional Championships which will be held in Greensboro, N.C. beginning Thursday, May 23, and concluding on Saturday, May 25.