March 12, 2014
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina track and field will be represented at the 2014 Division I Indoor Championships by junior thrower Kayla Padgett. She will compete Friday, March 14 in the women's weight throw at 7 p.m. (MT) in Albuquerque, N.M.
Padgett is making her second appearance in the NCAA Championships, her first at the Indoor meet. Last season, she registered a career-best mark of 58.29-meters (191-03.00) in the hammer throw at the NCAA East Regional for an 11th-place finish in the preliminaries. She went on to earn a 24th-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with a 52.44-meter (172-00.00) heave in the event.
"I'd like to congratulate Kayla Padgett on qualifying for the NCAA Indoor National Championships," head coach Curt Kraft said. "Anytime you make it to a national championship in any sport, you have achieved at a very high level. The thing about Kayla that is so gratifying and exciting is that she is not only a great athlete, but also an outstanding student. These are the types of athletes that coaches dream about having as part of their programs."
The Shallotte, N.C., native enters the NCAA Indoor Championships after being named Conference USA Female Field Performer of the Meet following her outstanding performance at the C-USA Championships. Padgett earned the honors after claiming first in the women's 20-pound weight throw as she tallied a heave of 20.87-meters (68-05.75) in the event which was more than two meters further than the second-place finisher. She came back the following day with a second-place finish in the shot put with a career-best mark of 14.72-meters (48-03.50). She is now second all time in the East Carolina record book in the women's shot put.
Padgett finished the Conference USA Indoor Championships with a First Team All-Conference selection en route to leading the Pirates to the Women's Indoor Title for the second time in three years.
She has had a solid junior season thus far as she has notched five first-place finishes in the 20-pound weight throw and earned gold in the women's shot put at the Christopher Newport Invitational. Padgett is the East Carolina school record holder in the weight throw with a mark of 21.95-meters (72-00.25) which she tallied at the Penn State National. That mark is good for fourth in the nation and earned her a trip to the NCAA Indoor Championships.
"A lot of the credit for what she has accomplished over the past three years has to go to her throws coach, David Price," Kraft said. "Coaching is about relationships and the two of them have a great coach/athlete relationship.
"We can't predict any outcomes this weekend, but one thing is for sure: Kayla Padgett will represent East Carolina University in a first-class manner."