Track Set For NCAA East Regional
Up next for Track & Field
May 28, 2009
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina track and field program will send 11 participants to the NCAA East Regional this weekend in Greensboro, N.C. The meet is scheduled for May 29-30 at the Irwin Belk Track on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University.
"It is greatly satisfying to have so many athletes qualify for the NCAA regional," head coach Curt Kraft stated. "Our athletes have done a great job of pushing themselves this season. Now we hope to have multiple representatives at the NCAA Championships."
The Pirate contingent, consisting of seven men and four women, represents the most athletes ECU has sent to a NCAA regional in a single season. The program also seeks its first national meet qualifier since Chelsea Salisbury participated in the hammer throw at Sacramento, Calif. in 2007. Additionally, three of the regional-bound Pirates won conference titles at the 2009 Conference USA Outdoor Championships in Tulsa, Okla. - Kris Bell (110m hurdles), Maegan Lewis (hammer) and Kevin Thompson (200m).
Thompson headlines the participation on the men's side, as he will compete in the 100m, 200m and 4x100 relay events. He successfully defended his 200m conference title in Tulsa while finishing in second-place in the 100m, just .04 seconds behind Ed Turner of Houston. In all, Thompson turned in seven regional qualifying marks during the season.
Bell earned entry into the regional by posting a 14.22 in the 110m hurdles event at the conference meet. That time was a personal-best for the senior and was .39 seconds faster than the second-place finisher, D'Korian Ford of Houston.
A pair of upperclassmen, Matt Dennish and Jarrett Newby, notched their qualifying times in the 800m at the High Point Invitational, clocking in at 1:49.93 and 1:50.00, respectively. Newby also fared well at the conference championships, grabbing second-place with a time of 1:52.25.
Chris Richardson and Adian Sanderson will compete in two events. Both athletes, along with Mario Briscoe and Thompson, comprise the 4x100 relay squad, which attained regional status at the C-USA Championships with a time of 40.55. That mark was good for third-place. Additionally, Richardson and Sanderson collected qualifying marks at the league meet in the 400m (46.33) and 100m (10.49), respectively.
For the women, two ECU athletes are slated to participate in the hammer throw as Lewis and Charlene Grady threw personal-best marks of 56.45m and 56.06m to take first and second-place in Tulsa. Additionally, Danielle Eiler notched two regional marks at the Duke Twilight and conference meets in the discus with throws of 47.88m and 49.01m, the latter serving as the current school record. Brittany Copeland rounds out the Pirate regional participants, as she earned a spot by clocking a school-record time of 16:33.18 in the 5000m at the 115th running of the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pa.
Should any ECU athletes turn in a qualifying time or mark at the NCAA East Regional, they will travel to Fayetteville, Ark. for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships. That meet is scheduled for June 10-13 at John McDonnell Field on the campus of the University of Arkansas.