ECU Track and Field: Looking back at a successful seasonPublished 7:21pm Tuesday, June 17, 2014
ECU Athletic Media Relations
GREENVILLE — 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. She won the C-USA Indoor Championships with a distance of 20.87-meters in the weight throw before being selected to the C-USA First Team. She also helped the ECU women’s squad win the C-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 in the event and was just one inch shy of winning the national title.
Butts is the school record holder in both the outdoor high jump (1.91-meters) and long jump (6.22-meters). The six-time All-American recorded four first-place finishes in the high jump, won the event at the Conference USA Outdoor Championships and collected a First Team All-Conference nod.
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.