Senior Dennis Aliotta is making his first career appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
June 5, 2012
DES MOINES, Iowa - The 2012 East Carolina track and field outdoor campaign reaches its end this week as a trio of Pirates is set to compete in the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The event is scheduled for June 6-9 at Drake Stadium.
Making her second appearance at the national championship in the high jump is three-time All-America performer and junior Tynita Butts. The United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Southeast Region Indoor and Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year posted a mark of 5-11.25 (1.81m) to share the NCAA East Preliminary Round championship with Boston University's Allison Barwise.
Butts owns the second-best high jump mark in the collegiate ranks this season having cleared 6-1½ (1.87m) - an Olympic "A" standard and ECU program record. She recently won the C-USA outdoor high jump title for the third-straight season and placed sixth at the league championships in the long jump. Butts will compete Friday, June 8, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
2012 Conference USA Outdoor Performer of the Meet and senior Dennis Aliotta finished fourth in the shot put at the NCAA East Preliminary to earn his first career spot at the national championship. His season best mark of 63-7.38 (19.39m) was a league and program record as he secured his fourth conference title, indoor or outdoor, in the event.
The shot put national final is slated for Saturday, June 9, at 11:00 a.m. Aliotta will participate in the first of two flights and the top nine marks out of 24 athletes will advance to a three-attempt final to determine the national champion.
Rounding out East Carolina's participation is junior Quinton Harley who is making his first career appearance at the national finals. The transfer from Lake Erie College ran a season-best 51.01 in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA East Preliminary and took second in his heat to advance to Drake. In his Conference USA outdoor championship debut a few weeks ago in New Orleans, Harley captured the league title in a time of 51.28.
Harley must finish as one of the top two athletes in the second of three heats or have one of the next two fastest times of non-heat automatic qualifiers to move on to Friday's eight-athlete final. The event kicks off Wednesday, June 6, at 9:15 p.m.