June 17, 2014
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina track and field program wrapped up a successful run during the 2013-14 school year over the weekend after a program-best 10 Pirates saw action at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships.
The Pirates closed the book on a positive outdoor season, but also enjoyed success during the indoor season. The East Carolina women's squad came away with two Conference USA titles and both sides appeared in the NCAA Championships.
During the indoor season, ECU set six school records, the men won the inaugural Carolina Cup, the women captured the C-USA indoor title and junior thrower Kayla Padgett went on to compete in the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Padgett turned in her most successful season to date as the Shallotte, N.C., native set the East Carolina school record in the 20-pound weight throw with a mark of 21.95-meters (72' 0.25"). She won the C-USA Indoor Championships with a distance of 20.87-meters (68' 5.75") in the weight throw before being selected to the C-USA First Team. She also helped the ECU women's squad win the Conference USA title for the second time in three years and was named Performer of the Meet.
At the conclusion of the indoor season, head coach Curt Kraft was named Conference USA Women's Indoor Coach of the Year. Kraft went on to pilot the women's squad to their first-ever outdoor conference title as he earned the C-USA Women's Outdoor Coach of the Year award as well.
Under Kraft's direction, the Pirates completed one of their most prolific outdoor campaigns in program history as they set a total of 13 outdoor school records, sent 20 qualifiers to the NCAA East Regionals and a program-best 10 student-athletes qualified for the NCAA National Championships.
Redshirt senior jumper Tynita Butts concluded her collegiate career with a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships, the highest-ever finish by a Pirate, in the women's high jump. She registered a clearance of 1.86-meters (6' 1.25") in the event and was just one inch shy of winning the national title.
In addition to a positive 2014 campaign, Kraft finished the year as the Southeast Region Women's Coach of the Year. The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) awarded him the honor for the first time in his career.