ECU Wins Five Events in Season Opener at Christopher Newport

Aaron Zakula

Dec. 10, 2012


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Tynita Butts recorded an NCAA Indoor qualifying mark en route to a first-place finish in the women’s high jump as she helped the East Carolina track and field squad to a solid performance at the Christopher Newport Invitational to open the indoor season.

Butts’ mark of 6-1.25 (1.86m) was just half an inch shy of tying her personal-best and the Freeman Center record which she set two years ago on December 5, 2010 at 6-1.5 (1.87m). In addition to winning the high jump, the Pirate women recorded first-place finishes in the pole vault, long jump, and weight throw. Jessica Botter took first in the pole vault with a mark of 11-9.75 (3.60m), while Tiffany Harris won the long jump with a mark of 18-11.25 (5.77m), and Kayla Padgett’s 56-3.75 (17.16m) toss in the weight throw was good for first.

“We did a lot of good things for the first meet of the year,” Head Coach Curt Kraft said. “Without question the highlight of the meet was Tynita Butts’ performance in the high jump. She jumped 1.86m and that will qualify her for the NCAA Indoor National Championships.”

Aaron Zakula and Henry Johnson were the top performers on the men’s side as they each recorded a mark of 15-7.25 (4.76m) to finish first in the pole vault. The mark was a personal-best for Zakula whose prior record of 15-7.00 (4.75m) was set last season at the SPIRE Invite.

On the track, the men had four Pirates place in the top 15 in the 60-meter dash. Antonial Marshall finished in fourth place with a time of 6.92, while Michael Neal (6.97), Ben McKinzie (7.02) and Joseph Samuels (7.02) all followed suit.



Brandon Dunford placed third in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:23.49, while Samuels turned in a fourth-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles (8.10).

Drew Kanz posted a mark of 6-8.75 (2.05m) for a third-place finish in the high jump, while Alexander Mobley-Hollie’s mark of 23-2.00 (7.06m) in the long jump was a new personal-best and good for a fourth-place finish.

In the shot put, Adam Manns finished second with a mark of 50-1.25 (15.27m) and Zakula finished in the top 15 with a 34-9.5 (10.60m) mark.

On the women’s side, Tyshonda Hawkins led the way in the 60-meter dash with a personal-best of 7.51 for a third-place finish. Tiffany Harris followed with a time of 7.53 for fourth, while Erin Tucker and Tania Minkins both recorded times of 7.57 for fifth and sixth place, respectively. Tucker hit the track again in the 60-meter hurdles where she finished third with a time of 8.80. Cheyenne Hutchinson earned a sixth-place finish with a time of 8.94 in the 60-meter hurdles.

Kathryn Warner finished third in the pole vault with a mark of 10-11.75 (3.35m), while Katherine Gray’s mark of 10-00.00 (3.05m) was good for eighth. Hutchinson finished sixth in the long jump with a mark of 17-7.00 (5.36m). Kayla Padgett (44-2.50 / 13.47m) and Kaylee Redon (39-8.00 / 12.09m) finished second and fifth, respectively, in the shot put.

Chloe Early set a new personal-best for herself as she notched a 52-4.00 (15.95m) performance in the weight throw for a second-place finish while, Redon also tallied a personal-best of 49-1.75 (14.98m) for fourth, and Lauren Lubarski (41-3.25 / 12.58m) placed seventh.

“Both teams have to continue to work hard over the Christmas break and come back focused and ready to compete at Virginia Tech on January 18 and 19,” Kraft stated. “We, as a coaching staff, are very proud of their early season progress.”