Freshmen Lead Pirates At CNU Open
Up next for Track & Field
Dec. 7, 2009
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The East Carolina track and field teams received strong performances from freshmen as they prepared in earnest for the indoor season at the Christopher Newport Holiday Open at the Freeman Center. Rookie Tynita Butts set facility and ECU school records in winning the high jump event, achieving a mark of 1.78m, which also was an NCAA Indoor Championships provisional qualifying mark.
"I thought for the first meet of the year that we did really well," head coach Curt Kraft stated. "This gives us some idea of what we need to work on and improve once the season kicks off after the first of the year. Probably the biggest highlight of the weekend was Tynita Butts in the high jump, as she earned an NCAA provisional qualifying mark. I was very pleased overall with the performances on both the men's and women's sides."
In all, the Pirates recorded 18 top 10 finishes, including two event titles by Butts (high jump and long jump). The Alexandria, Va. native continued her success from the prep ranks, as she won the national title in both events at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships last year.
On the women's side, Tenesia Simpson and Tanisha Glover both qualified for the finals of the 55-meter dash, turning in times of 7.21 and 7.30, respectively. Glover then took sixth in the final, posting a 7.29 time. Redshirt freshman Nicole Saunders showed well in the 200-meter dash, taking 22nd with a time of 26.68. Tiffany Harris then took fourth in the 400-meter event, clocking in at 59.53.
In the longer distances, Ericka Charles started her campaign well, grabbing third-place in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:42.30 which also broke her own school record set last season.
After making the finals of the 55-meter hurdles due to a qualifying time of 8.50, JaQuanda Wright produced a personal-best 8.38 and finished in seventh-place. Harris, Saunders, Charles and Kia Haskins also participated in the 4x400-meter relay, checking in at sixth after running a 4:06.49.
In addition to Butts' output in the field events, Glover finished eighth in the long jump, clearing 5.38 meters. Camelia Morman also posted an impressive second-place result in the triple jump, turning in a mark of 11.54 meters.
For the men, Antonial Marshall, participating in his first collegiate meet, clocked a qualifying time of 6.45 in the 55-meter dash before topping it in the final, taking eighth-place (6.42). He followed that showing with a seventh-place nod in the 200-meters, producing a 22.74.
Antonio Palmer also got his collegiate career off to a solid start, earning fourth in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:23.39. Edrian Murray complimented that performance by finishing 10th (1:27.79).
After running cross country for ECU in the fall, Antoine Berlin garnered his first track action by taking 11th in the 5,000-meter run and producing a time of 15:32.85.
In the 55-meter hurdles, Joseph Samuels and Mario Briscoe finished first and fourth, respectively, in the preliminary race only to finish second and 12th in the finals (7.67, 8.15). Additionally, a time of 3:31.47 allowed Palmer, Patrick Jones, Murray and Samuels to earn 10th in the 4x400-meter relay, as the squad was composed of three first-year athletes.
Yet another freshman, Austin Lewis, collected the first top five result of his career in the long jump, converting an attempt of 7.09 meters which gave him fifth-place.
East Carolina will take the next month to prepare for its next meet, the Virginia Tech Invitational. The event is scheduled for Jan. 15-16 at the Rector Fieldhouse.