Pirates Post Four School Records At CNU

UABSPORTS.COM Junior All-America Tynita Butts captured two event titles at the CNU Holiday Open.
Junior All-America Tynita Butts captured two event titles at the CNU Holiday Open.

Dec. 5, 2011

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The East Carolina track and field program officially opened its 2011-12 indoor campaign Sunday at the Christopher Newport Holiday Open.

A total of four school records were broken while six Pirates posted event title in the various field disciplines. Additionally, ECU was responsible for 21 top-five finishes.

One of the most impressive performances of the day came from junior Joseph Samuels, who broke two-time Olympian Hector Cotto's record in the 60-meter hurdles - clocking in at 7.91 for third place. Classmate Stephen Hodapp won the pole vault in program-record fashion as well, matching teammates Henry Johnson and Aaron Zakula with a mark of 4.61 meters but winning the event in a jump-off.

Sophomore Tania Minkins and junior Britney Kott also etched their names into the record books with new program standards in the 60-meter dash and 600-meter run, respectively. Minkins broke a 10-year standard with a time of 7.47 to claim second place while Kott replaced her own record, checking in at 1:36.38 for second place in the event.

Junior All-America Tynita Butts topped the field in the high and long jump, recording marks of 1.78 and 5.94 meters, and was complemented by senior Abbey Way's personal-best 3.50 meters in the pole vault - a mark which was also good for first place.

A pair of the Pirate men's NCAA regional qualifiers from a season ago began their season with wins as senior Dennis Aliotta grabbed the title in the shot put by posting a throw of 17.28 meters, easily outdistancing the second-place finisher by 2.14. Junior Montrell Morrow joined Aliotta in the weight throw as the duo snatched first and second place with marks of 19.05 and 16.66 meters.

ECU's newcomers also fared well in their first meet in a Pirate uniform. Senior Rachel Boerner placed second in the 400-meter dash with a time of 58.70 while freshman Kayla Padgett ended up fifth in the shot put at 12.98 meters.

East Carolina continues its indoor exploits in the New Year, traveling to Blacksburg, Va., for the Virginia Tech Invitational. The meet is scheduled for Jan. 13-14 at the Rector Field House.