June 10, 2014
GREENVILLE, N.C. –The East Carolina track and field squad is sending a program-best 10 student-athletes to compete at the 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore. Nationals begin Wednesday, June 11 and will conclude Saturday, June 14.
ECU will have at least one student-athlete competing each day of the Championships as the Pirates will be represented in six different events. Three of the 10 student-athletes qualified in two events each. Sophomore Cameron Hudson will see action in both the men’s long jump and 4x100-meter relay, while seniors Tania Minkins and Tyshonda Hawkins will participate in the women’s 200-meter dash as well as the 4x100-meter relay.
“We enter the National meet with a lot of excitement and anticipation,” Head Coach Curt Kraft said. “This is the largest group of men and women we have ever taken to the NCAA Outdoor National Championships. I have stated to both teams that it is one thing to get there, but it is another to prove you belong there. They can’t be satisfied just to get there. They all have to do something while they are there. The goals of this meet are like any other. The expectations going into this meet are to break school records, have All-Americans, and possible National Champions.”
East Carolina will send the men’s and women’s 4x100-meter relay squads to compete on day one. The men’s team which is comprised of Hudson, Michael Neal, Hunter Furr and Austin Lewis will run at 4 p.m., while the women’s squad which is made up of Minkins, Hawkins, Erin Tucker and Jasmine Dawson will follow at 4:15 p.m. Should the 4x100-meter relay teams qualify, the men’s squad will compete in the finals Saturday, June 14 at 2:03 p.m., while the women will see action in the finals at 2:10 p.m.
Sophomore jumper Avion Jones is the only Pirate who will compete on day three as he will participate in the men’s high jump final at 3:20 p.m. Jones is the current school record holder in the event with a clearance of 2.21-meters (7’3”).
Redshirt senior jumper Tynita Butts will see action on the final day of competition at 12:45 p.m. in the women’s high jump. Butts is a five-time All-American who owns the East Carolina school record with a mark of 1.91-meters (6’3.25”), which is good for second in the nation.
“The experience is what is going to get the job done at this meet,” Kraft explained. “We have people on this team that have been here before and know what it takes to get the job done. One thing is for sure, whatever we do or don’t do it is going to be an experience of a lifetime for both teams.
“We are going to represent East Carolina University in a first-class manner,” Kraft said. “Any time you have a chance to compete at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., you have to take advantage of that moment and take it all in because you never know when you may get another chance.”
The first two days of competition will be streamed on ESPN3 beginning at 6:55 p.m. ET each day. ESPNU will televise the final two days, Friday, June 13, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, June 14, at 5 p.m.