GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina track & field team swept the men’s and women’s team titles as they hosted the ninth annual Bill Carson Invitational on Friday and Saturday at the Bate Foundation Track & Field Facility.
The Pirates combined to win 24 of 40 events contested on the weekend, highlighted by a handful of splendid individual efforts which placed athletes in the top 10 in program history in their events.
Before a blustery Saturday made it a challenge to find a wind-legal moment to run races, the Pirates kicked off the meet with athletes in four throws events. The highlight of Friday’s competition was surely Jasmine Jenkins’ dominant win in the hammer throw as she became just the fourth ECU woman ever to throw over 60 meters in the event. Jenkins went on to win the event by nearly six meters. Rebekah Bergquist joined Jenkins in victory on Friday with her win in the discus.
“I thought the day went wonderful,” said Director of Track & Field Curt Kraft. “We obviously had a few challenges with the weather, but that is to be expected with outdoor track and field. Probably one of the biggest things I was most impressed with was our teams attitude throughout the entire day – we competed with a lot of heart and energy.”
On Saturday, the weather became a factor as spotty showers and gusty winds challenged athletes to put up the best of what they had. Several Pirates answered that call, including Austin Mathews and Lindsay Yentz in their respective 3,000m steeples. Mathews ran a solo 9:23.24 for the win, the sixth best time in program history, while Yentz inched closer to second on the all-time list where she already held the three spot, running all alone for her 10:57.70 win. With that performance, Yentz became just the third ECU woman under 11 minutes in the event.
The Pirates also found success in the men’s and women’s triple jump as L’Nya Carpenter vaulted herself well into the record books at fourth on the all-time ECU list with her victorious 12.69m leap while freshman sensation Jared Harrell inched past his PR at 15.09m, solidifying his position at 10th in ECU history.
“We were really excited to win both the men’s and women’s competitions at our home track meet,” continued Kraft. “Anytime you can protect your home turf it’s always exciting for the kids. I felt like we got better this weekend from last weekend. We have to continue improve each week so that we are prepared for our conference outdoor championships. And as I have mentioned many times before, I felt like the highlight was when we honored our 15 seniors this morning.”
The wind managed not to be too big a factor on the day but one event where it bared its teeth was the women’s 100m hurdles where Sydni McMillan’s time of 13.82 seconds was not record eligible thanks to a 3.7 mile-per-hour tailwind. The time would have been good for eighth in ECU history on a calm day but nonetheless was good for 10 points and a win for McMillan.
In total, the Pirates managed over 20 personal, collegiate or season bests on the weekend en route to a whopping 280 points for the women and 180 for the men. The ECU women won the meet by nearly 150 points, more than doubling up their closest competition.
1. ECU – 180
2. App State – 168
3. Mount Olive – 126
4. UNCW – 114
5. Citadel – 76
1. ECU – 280
2. App State – 130.5
3. Mount Olive – 130.5
4. UNCW – 95.5
5. Citadel – 40.5