East Carolina Hosts Bill Carson Invitational


GREENVILLE, N.C. -The East Carolina track and field team will host the Bill Carson Invitational when it welcomes Charlotte, South Carolina and UNC Wilmington Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12. The event marks the first-ever home meet to be held at the ECU Track and Field Facility at the Olympic Sports Complex. The facility, which was finished during the summer of 2011, includes an eight-lane polyurethane track.

The Pirates will host their first on-campus track and field meet since March 2003 when they hosted the Pirate Relays at Bunting Track. The Bill Carson Invitational will begin with field events on Friday, April 11 at noon. Saturday, April 12 starts at 11 a.m. with the remaining field events followed by track events at 11:30 a.m.

"I can't begin to put into words how excited we are as a coaching staff and as a team about hosting our first home track meet in many, many years," Head coach Curt Kraft said. "We are coming off of a great weekend at the Florida Relays having set four school records and numerous season bests; so the student-athletes are very excited about coming home for this meet. The three teams that we are competing against are very good teams. All three have won their respective conference numerous times and South Carolina is a national champion."

ECU has gotten off to a strong start this outdoor season as the Pirates have set four school records thus far. Sophomore Avion Jones shattered a 33-year old mark in the high jump with a clearance of 2.16-meters (7-01.00). He is now the ECU record holder in both the indoor and outdoor high jump events. Tyshonda Hawkins notched a school record time of 23.41 in the 200-meter dash, while Kayla Padgett broke a 15-year old record in the hammer throw as she registered a heave of 60.87-meters (199-08.00). Additionally, the women's shuttle hurdle relay team of Leah Lott, Erin Tucker, Aminah Ghaffar and Jasmine Thompson also set a school record with a time of 59.26.

"If our teams compete like we should, I think we could come away with more school records and continue to help ourselves out in the Conference USA standings as well," Kraft said. "This is the time of year when we have to start putting our teams into a position where we need to start thinking about the Conference USA Championships as they are only five weeks away."

Following the Bill Carson Invitational, the Pirates will compete at the Charlotte 49er Classic and the Penn Relays before heading to the Conference USA Outdoor Championships in Houston, Texas beginning Thursday, May 15 and concluding Sunday, May 18.


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