Track And Field Improves At Penn State Open
Jan. 18, 2009
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The East Carolina track and field program competed for the second time this season, improving its times and showing well at the Penn State Open this weekend. In all, the Pirates turned in 14 top 10 finishes while many athletes posted career best marks against a strong field that included Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Hampton, Penn and host Penn State.
The ladies started the day and in the 200 meter dash, freshman Funsha Jackson bettered her mark from the Christopher Newport meet, tallying a 27th-place finish with a time of 26.04. Then, in the 500-meter dash, sophomore Ericka Charles turned in a personal-best time of 1:19.23 to take 17th-place. Freshman Amanda Lapp experienced her first action of her career in the next event, the 600-meter run, recording a mark of 1:41.83 which was good for 11th and is the best mark for the Pirates this season. In the 800-meter event, junior Samantha Lichtner collected the first top 10 finish for ECU, producing a season-high mark of 2:17.33 to sit in sixth-place. Senior Hollie Brooks also posted a top 10 result in the 1,000-meter run, showing at 10th with a time of 3:09.15.
Freshman Tara Wilson began her career on a high note, finishing 13th in the 3,000-meter run with a mark of 10:38.96. Then the women participated in the 60-meter hurdles for the first time this season as rookie JaQuanda Wright turned in a mark of 9.06 to take 11th in the event. The distance medley was also a first this season for the women as Lichtner, Charles, Lapp and Brooks finished seventh (12:53.26) and will look to improve on that mark in future meets. Junior Meghan Horne improved on her time in the high jump, clearing .07 higher this week (1.60) to place 11th while freshman Abby Way turned in the best mark of her young career in the pole vault, easily beating her Christopher Newport standard of 3.20 with a 3.35 effort. Wrapping up the field events for the ladies, senior and co-captain Danielle Eiler improved her season mark to 11.98 in the shot put.
After taking three of the top 10 positions in the preliminaries of the 60-meter dash, the upperclassmen trio of Adian Sanderson, Kevin Thompson and Anthony Green combined to take third-through-fifth in the finals. Then, competing in the 200-meter dash, Thompson and Sanderson took two more top five finishes, turning in marks of 21.91 and 22.05 respectively, easily besting the top times from the Christopher Newport meet. In the 400-meter dash, senior Ron Wright represented his side well, edging out Todd Dutch of Pittsburgh for second-place and a mark of 48.42, a personal best. A pair of sophomores, Mario Brisco and Sean Bowen, finished in the top half of the 500-meter dash standings, producing ninth and 13th-place results, respectively (1:05.37 and 1:06.30).
Another senior and co-captain, Jarrett Newby, experienced his first event of the season in the 800-meter run and recorded a third-place finish with a mark of 1:52.83 which was a meet record. Freshman Zachary Montijo, the 2008 Conference USA cross country Freshman-of-the-Year, tried his hand at the 1,000-meter run next, and finished with a time of 2:32.24 (12th-place). Over at the hurdles, senior Kristopher Bell produced another meet record in the finals, clocking in at 7.98 and finishing in second place, just .11 off of the winner.
The relay teams stepped up next and fared well as the 4x400-meter team of Wright, Brisco, Sanderson and Christopher Richardson defeated teams from Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Penn to finish second with a season-best mark of 3:14.23. In the distance medley relay, the Pirates took a top five spot again as the team of Newby, Bowen, Montijo and Gregory Manning finished in 10:20.52 and fourth-place.
Freshman Bayani Jones represented another Pirate who improved his mark this week, as he competed in the long jump and recorded a length of 6.52m, good for 11th place. Closing out competition for East Carolina was freshman Daniel Varela in the weight throw and he finished in 18th-place with a mark of 14.45m.
The track and field Pirates will continue their seasons next week at the UNC Classic. The meet is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 24 inside the Eddie Smith Field House in Chapel Hill, N.C.