Track And Field Set For C-USA Championships
Up next for Track & Field
May 11, 2011
HOUSTON, Texas - The East Carolina track and field program will spend four days in Houston at the newly renovated Holloway Field/Ley Track attempting to capture the first Conference USA championship in school history. Rice University serves as host for the event, which is slated for May 12-15.
Last season, the men finished fifth while the women ended the competition in eighth-place.
The championships get underway Thursday with the beginning of the heptathlon and decathlon. Freshman Erica Bell will represent ECU in the former, making her collegiate debut in the event.
Four Pirates look to defend outdoor individual titles in senior Maegan Lewis (hammer), junior Dennis Aliotta (shot put) and sophomores Tynita Butts (high jump) and Drew Kanz (high jump). Matthew McConaughey (javelin) captured the javelin championship last season, but is sidelined for the remainder of the year with a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament.
Butts will not only attempt to defend her high jump title, but also dethrone 2011 NCAA indoor national champion Tori Bowie in the long jump. Bowie enters the competition with a season-high mark of 6.58 meters while Butts checks in at 5.98.
ECU also looks for top performances from its underclassmen, as Aiesha Goggins set the C-USA Indoor Championships meet record in the 400-meters and has the second-fastest seed time in the field at 53.47 behind UTEP's Endurance Abinuwa (52.39). She will also factor into the relays in the both the 4x100 and 4x400 races. The Pirates will have a great chance to finish among the top three in both events. Sophomore Austin Lewis will also try to score in a variety of events, including the 100 and 200-meter dashes as well as the long jump and 4x100 relay.
With a time of 3:43.43 in the 1,500 run set at the Florida Relays, Northern Ireland native and senior Jordan Neil brings the third-fastest season showing into the league meet and looks to knock off Chris O'Hare from Tulsa, who boasts a time of 3:50.54.
In addition to winning conference titles, all athletes can also push toward securing spots in the NCAA East Regional scheduled for May 26-28 in Bloomington, Ind. The top 48 athletes in each event in the East region will take part. In 2010, East Carolina sent 13 athletes to the regional championships.