Pirates to Compete in Dennis Craddock Invitational

UABSPORTS.COM Cameron Hudson
Cameron Hudson

Feb. 21, 2014

GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina track and field squad heads west to Chapel Hill, N.C., to compete in the Dennis Craddock Invitational on Saturday, February 22. The meet marks the Pirates' second action at the University of North Carolina this season.

"This is our final meet before the Conference USA Indoor Championships," Head Coach Curt Kraft said. "Even though we are taking a limited squad to UNC, it still allows some of the student-athletes to improve their marks. As always, we are excited to compete against our in-state rivals."

The Pirates are one of 20 universities competing in the Dennis Craddock Invitational and are looking to build on the success they have already had during the indoor season. Most recently, sophomore jumper Avion Jones earned Co-Conference USA Male Athlete of the Week after setting the ECU school record and placing first in the high jump at the JDL Fast Track Invitational. At the meet, East Carolina set two school records to bring its season total to seven as three men's records have fallen and four women's records have been rewritten.

East Carolina also has four student-athletes ranked in the top 15 in the nation in four separate events. Leading the way is junior thrower Kayla Padgett who owns the third-best mark in the nation in the women's weight throw with an ECU school record tally of 21.95-meters (72-00.25). Sophomore jumper Cameron Hudson is tied for 10th in nation in the men's long jump with a career-best mark of 7.72-meters (25-04.00). Both Tania Minkins and Jones are tied for 14th in the nation in their respective events. Minkins owns a personal-best time of 39.14 in the women's 300-meter dash, while Jones holds the ECU school record in the men's high jump with a mark of 2.19-meters (7-02.25).



Among the student-athletes competing this weekend are Henry Johnson, who currently holds the ECU school record in the pole vault with a mark of 5.20-meters (17-00.75), Aaron Zakula, Stephen Hodapp and Adam Tuck who will all compete in the pole vault. On the women's side, Cheyenne Hutchinson will participate in the 60-meter hurdles, while Kathryn Warner, Taylor Drummonds and Rachel Neagle will see action in the pole vault. The Pirates will also send the women's 4x400-meter relay squad of Minkins, Erin Tucker, Janieyah Collins, and Aiesha Goggins to Chapel Hill on Saturday.

Last time the Pirates competed at the University of North Carolina, the men's squad won the Dick Taylor Invitational to claim the inaugural Carolina Cup. ECU looks to continue its positive showing in Chapel Hill this weekend.