Record-Setting Weekend For ECU Indoor Track
Record-Setting Weekend For ECU Indoor Track
GREENVILLE, N.C. -- The East Carolina men's and women's indoor track and field teams combined to break six school standards while earning automatic or provisional NCAA Championships qualification in three events during split-squad participation at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., and the Virginia Tech Challenge in Blacksburg over the weekend.
Freshman LaShawn Merritt enjoyed an unprecedented record-setting weekend, establishing new national, conference and school records during his performance at the Tyson Invitational.
After posting the third-fastest indoor 400-meter time in world history with a 44.93 clip Friday night, he followed with a 20.40 time in the 200-meter dash Saturday - setting a new ECU record and besting the NCAA automatic qualifying standard
Merritt became the second-fastest man ever to run the indoor 400 meters, trailing only the legendary Michael Johnson's world record of 44.63, set in 1995, and Johnson's 1996 time of 44.66. However, it was the fastest time ever run by a junior (19-and-under) athlete indoors and also established a new NCAA, Conference USA and East Carolina record. During the sprint, Merritt defeated notables such as 2003 U.S. indoor champion Bershawn Jackson (45.70), Olympic 4x400m relay gold medalist Andrew Rock (46.01) and reigning world indoor title-holder Alleyne Francique (46.16).
He followed by winning the 200-meter sprint in a time of 20.40 at the Randal Tyson Track Complex, which rates as the second-fastest clip in the world so far in 2005 and marked a World Junior Indoor record. Junior DeAndre Hyman finished 13th in the event with a time of 21.61.
Other Pirate athletes turning in notable finishes at the Tyson Invitational include freshman distance runner Matt Dennish, who finished 12th in the one mile run (4:11.72) and senior sprinter B.J. Henderson, who clocked a career-best 47.43 in the 400 meters.
East Carolina also authored a strong outing at the Virginia Tech Challenge, shattering four school marks and reaching five East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) qualification marks and one NCAA provisional milestone.
In the men's division, sophomore thrower Eric Frasure captured a new ECU record and met a NCAA provisional qualifying standard with a weight throw of 19.22 meters, which topped his previous record-setting toss of 18.96 at the Clemson Invitational Jan. 22. In addition, Frasure also stood among the top 25 in the shot put with a throw of 14.49.
In the track events, Reggie Williams bettered his personal-best with a 22.07 time in the 200-meter dash to finish 10th, while Kyle Yunaska (1:57.42) and Jason Diehl (1:58.84) each established new career-bests in the 800-meter run.
The Lady Pirates set three new school standards and earned two first-place finishes at Virginia Tech, the latter both coming from senior distance runner Tara DeBrielle.
DeBrielle broke Shauntae Hill's eight-year record in the 500-meter run with a first-place time of 1:14.65 before also winning the 800-meter event in 2:11.24. Both victories also met ECAC qualifying times for DeBrielle.
Pole vaulter Lindsey Rosales turned in her top career effort at 3.85, besting the previous ECU record of 3.65 set by her last season, while the Lady Pirates' 4x400 relay squad, which consisted of DeBrielle, Portia Baker, Simone Baptiste and Terri Davenport, logged a 3:46.87 performance to erase a five-year-old school standard and earn ECAC qualification status.
Other career-best women's efforts were recorded by Alisha Hopkins, who qualified for the ECAC Championships with a long jump of 5.74, Erica Montgomery (7.30 in the 55-meter dash, 25.38 in the 200 meters), Baker (25.34 in the 200), Simone Baptiste (58.10 in the 400), Hayley Flynn (5:26.07 in the mile), Aisha Bilal-Mack (2:19.13 in the 800), Nicole Callaham (8.46 in the 55-meter hurdles), Danielle Lainez (3.10 in the pole vault) and Chelsea Salisbury (14.73 in the weight throw).
East Carolina will take next week off in preparation for the Conference USA Championships, which will be held on the University of Houston campus Feb. 26-25.
TOP 10 EAST CAROLINA RESULTS (men)
200 Meter Dash
400 Meter Dash (@Tyson Invitational)
TOP 10 EAST CAROLINA RESULTS (women)
800 Meter Run
5,000 Meter Run
4x400 Meter Relay