March 12, 2013
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina track and field program closed the book on the 2013 indoor season over the weekend after competing in the NCAA Indoor Championships.
The Pirates wrapped up a successful season which saw senior Tynita Butts finish second in the NCAA Championships after she matched her career-best and ECU school-record mark of 1.90m (6-02.75) for her fifth all-time All-America selection.
Montrell Morrow made his second appearance in as many years at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the men's weight throw as he fouled out on the final day of competition.
Prior to the NCAA Indoor Championships, the Pirates had four individual champions at the C-USA Indoor Championships as Joseph Samuels, Kayla Padgett, Butts and Morrow all came home with first-place finishes.
Samuels won the men's 60-meter hurdles finals with a time of 7.91. Previously he had placed first in the preliminaries of the same event with a qualifying time of 7.84. For the second year in a row, Morrow won the men's weight throw. This season, his mark of 19.95m (65-05.50) was good enough for tops in the conference.
Butts won her fourth high jump event of the indoor season as she leapt 1.83m (6-00.00), which was four inches better than the second place finisher. Padgett won the women's weight throw with an ECU school record mark of 20.03m (65-08.75) to lead the Lady Pirates. She shattered her previous personal record by 1.72m (5-07.00) and bested the former ECU school record mark of 18.80m (61-08.00) which was set in 1999 by Michelle Clayton.
In addition to the numerous victories the Pirates brought home, the ECU track and field squad also set five school records on two separate occasions to rewrite the record book 10 times.
On the men's side, Drew Kanz tied the high jump school record with a mark of 2.16m (7-01.00), while Aaron Zakula set a new standard in the pole vault with a mark of 4.97m (16-03.50), and Dylan Spadaccini tallied a school-record 4,734 points in the heptathlon.
Seven women's school records were broken as Tania Minkins ran the 60-meter dash in a school record 7.39, while Erin Tucker recorded a new school standard time of 8.34 in the 60-meter hurdles. Tyshonda Hawkins registered a career-best and ECU record time of 23.62 in the 200-meter dash and Tiffany Harris finished the 300-meter dash in 38.18 for another East Carolina record. Olivia Slate set a new record in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:54.09, while Butts tallied a mark of 1.90m (6-02.75) on two separate occasions in the high jump, and Padgett notched a career-best and school-record mark of 20.05m (65-08.75) in the women's weight throw.
"We feel as a coaching staff that we had a very successful indoor season on both sides of the program," Head Coach Curt Kraft said. "I know there are a lot of ways to define success in our sport, but any time you set school records, have individual conference champions, national qualifiers and All-America selections, I would call that a very good indoor season.
"We now have to take all of this momentum into the outdoor season and continue to build on all of the energy that we have created as a team," Kraft continued. "One thing is for sure, we are not where we want to be as a team, so we have to stay focused and work hard each and every day."
The Pirates will look ahead to the outdoor season which begins Thursday, March 14, as ECU competes at the Charlotte Invitational which will conclude on Saturday, March 16.