GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina track & field program has announced the signing of 23 newcomers into the program for 2023-24.

 “To the best of my memory, this might be one of the best overall classes between the men and the women that we have ever brought in since I’ve been here,” said Director of Track & Field Curt Kraft. “Both recruiting classes have an abundant amount of talent and potential. On the men’s side, this is the greatest number of athletes that we have brought in in a long time. We feel like that every young man who we brought in has the potential to be a conference score immediately. On the women’s side, the sentiment is the same. We recruited some very talented transfers, to go along with some very talented high school seniors. We feel like as a coaching staff that if everything comes together like we think in May of 2024, that we could have a great outdoor conference championship on both the men and women’s side.”
Jaelyn Green | Hurdles and Sprints | Chesapeake, Va. | Deep Creek HS
PRs: 38.08 300H, 21.73 200m, 10.73 100m
Prep Accomplishments: 2-time VHSL Class 4A State 300m Hurdle Champion
 “Jaelyn Green is so very well rounded,” said coach Udon Cheek. “He can help us in every sprint and hurdle event but will concentrate on the long hurdles and long sprints as his bread and butter. His high school coach left a lot of meat on the bone for us by not solely concentrating on a particular event. Jaelyn’s upside in the 400m hurdles is what we’re most excited about. We believe he has a chance to be an ECU all-time great in this event. He has extremely high character and the personality to be the kind of teammate that everyone is sure to love. Jaelyn comes from a great team culture in high school. Adding great character to a team is never a bad thing and that’s what we’ve added with Jaelyn.”
Carlmelo Martin | Short Sprints | Boiling Springs, S.C. | Boiling Springs HS
PRs: 6.65 60m, 10.36 100m, 21.32 200m
Prep Accomplishments: 2023 Nike Indoor 60m Champion, SCHSL 5A State 100m runner-up
 “Melo is quite a talent and an intense competitor,” said coach Cheek. “He aspires to be great in every sense of the word. We anticipate his impact, in the short sprints and relays, to be immediate.  He’s very curious and loves researching his events. His competitive attitude and personality (jovial, kind, and sincere) are a recipe for success. We are excited to have him on board and are looking forward to helping him hone his gift. Coming in as the Nike National 60m champion sets the bar pretty high. Melo makes our short sprints group as competitive as it’s ever been. Practices should be very intense and fun this year. Keep an eye on this young man.  He’s special.
Blake Moody | Long Sprints | Mechanicsville, Va. | Mechanicsville HS
PRs: 1:04.11 500m, 34.29 300m, 21.73 200m, 10.72 100m
Prep Accomplishments: VHSL Class 4A 500m State Champion
 “Blake has a strength and rhythm that will make him a formidable opponent in the long sprints, particularly the 400m,” said coach Cheek. “We love how Blake embraces the process. Total buy-in is what makes him who he is. He embraces challenge with his all and he competes fearlessly. We love how he dares to compete from the front, in the longer sprints. It screams, “NO RISK! NO REWARD!”  We’re excited to watch Blake put it all on the line for Pirate Nation.  He’s the kind of athlete that you can count on, on and off the track. We are a better team with Blake Moody. He’s everything you want a student-athlete to be. Pirate Pride will be well represented by this young man.”

Everton Muir | Short Sprints | Newtonville, Mass. | Newton North HS
PRs: 6.38 55m, 10.62 100m, 21.47 200m
Prep Accomplishments: MIAA Division-1 55m Champion, Bay State Conference 100m Champion, 3rd place 100m finish in the Massachusetts Meet of Champions
 “Everton is as knowledgeable a sprinter as you’d ever want to meet,” said coach Cheek. “He has an exceptional understanding of the biomechanics (or the technical modeling) of sprinting.  It’s refreshing to see someone so intrigued and motivated by the training aspect of sprint development. It was honestly enjoyable to recruit him in particular because of the conversations around the science of training. Whenever discussions of technique came about, he was always able to reference top athletes who excelled at the aspects of reference. Everton will bring his skill set to aid our short sprints program. He is a meticulous taskmaster, and we believe that the hours we will spend together to find his race model will be well spent and effective. Everton is a true student of the sport.”
Isabelle Dely | Short Hurdles and Long Jump | Paramus, N.J. | Northeastern University
PRs: 8.74 60H, 14.24 100H, 18’10.75″ LJ
Prep Accomplishments: NJISAA Group 2 & 3 Long Jump Champion and 100H Runner-up
 “Izzy is a power hurdler,” said coach Cheek. “Her technique is very sound. We are looking forward to re-establishing her confidence in her natural ability, being that she in coming back from a significant injury. Izzy will add depth and knowledge to our hurdle group. Having another knowledgeable hurdler on board is like having another set of eyes at practice. We are certain that Izzy will flourish and develop in our culture. Her experience will blend well into our detail-oriented and systematic approach. When Izzy gets back to full go-mode, she will assist our sessions in becoming the competitive rounds necessary to manufacture championship hurdlers.  She’s anxious and hungry. Our trainers, strength staff, and coaching staff are serious about helping her make a glorious return.”
A’Laya Gillespie | Sprints and Hurdles | Statesville, N.C. | Statesville HS
PRs: 11.94 100m, 24.31 200m, 56.86 400m, 18’8″ LJ
Prep Accomplishments: 2021 NCHSAA 2A State 400m Champion, 2022 NCHSAA 3A State Champion 300m and LJ
 “A’Laya Gillespie has a switch that flips from giddy and sweet to focused and intense,” said coach Cheek. “A’Laya loves competition. She craves it, and she can’t wait to prove herself against the very best. A commendable characteristic about A’Laya is her willingness to compete in any and everything. The hardest thing to do will be keeping her off the track. She wants to compete from the beginning of the meet to the end. She can run all the sprints and she has long jump experience. She’s even asked if she could try the hurdles. We will likely test her mettle (as a freshman) in the long sprints and the hurdles, as those seem to be where her highest ceiling resides. An injury-riddled senior year has her hungrier than ever and we anticipate that it will fuel a fire that will lead to a successful freshman campaign and beyond. We anticipate A’Laya’s development to maturate quickly as she appears to have no fear with a willingness to make the necessary sacrifice. That’s the culture we are trying to further.”
Calandra Henry | Short Sprints | Clarksville, Tenn. | Missouri State University
PRs: 60m (7.28), 100m (11.50), 200m (23.59)
Prep Accomplishments: 2023 Missouri Valley Conference 60m Champ, 2023 MVC Outdoor 100m runner-up
 “Calandra is a ball of fire when the starting pistol goes off,” said coach Cheek. “Her acceleration is astonishing. She runs with ferocity and a win-it-all-now mentality. She takes nothing for granted and does everything with all her might. The adage of big things coming in small packages comes to mind when one thinks of Calandra. She may be small in stature but there is nothing small about her effort. Calandra is a no nonsense, let’s get it going, individual. She’s a planner with a vision and that vision is 20/20. Watching her eyes light up when she went to our occupational therapy department to discuss the anticipated academic journey there, spoke volume. We believe Calandra’s addition adds more than just speed to our short sprints program. She adds to the pedigree of an already mature group. We are appreciative that Calandra chose us and we believe our culture is perfect for her.”
Teliyah James | Short Sprints | Norristown, Pa. | Murray State
PRs: 7.44 60m, 11.44 100m, 23.62 200m
Prep Accomplishments: 2 x Missouri Valley Conference 60m runner-up, 3rd place 200m at the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championship
 “Teliyah is a late bloomer,” said coach Cheek. “She’s naturally a good sprinter, but she has recently, fully embraced her talent and is anxious to further it. She is admirably fueled by her faith, and she has a bundle of it. She brings a ton of power to our short sprints program. We have done our research and have found that Teliyah excels when power is the focus of her training. Knowing that, she will get a ton of it with us. We want to have multiple relays and individuals competing at the NCAA Championships. Adding Teliyah brings us closer to this goal. Teliyah is very competitive, and she equally has a joyful and approachable spirit. It can never be underestimated just how important that is to the team culture. We are delighted to work with her and are in high anticipation to see her character flourish within our unique culture of working determinedly and lovingly toward our goals.”
Shakiel Dacres | Throws | Kingston, Jamaica | Iowa Western CC
PRs: 58.47m discus, 16.85m SP
Prep Accomplishments: 2022 Junior College National Discus Champion 
 “Shakiel is a super quick and talented discus thrower who will be very competitive at the conference and national level,” said coach David Price.
Brandon Gayle | Throws | Kingston, Jamaica | Iowa Western CC
PRs: 17.37m SP, 51.53m discus
 “Brandon finished 5th in the shot put his freshman year at the 2023 Junior College National Championships before transferring to ECU,” said coach Price. “Brandon will redshirt this season, and like Shakiel will be highly competitive in the shot put at the conference and national level.”
Jocelyn Pringle | Throws | Jacksonville, Fla. | Providence HS
PRs: 10.74m SP
Lydia Simmons | Throws | Clayton, N.C. | Cleveland HS
PRs: 35.40m discus
Madelynn Pfeiffer | Throws | Plainfield, N.J. | South Plainfield HS
PRs: 11.31m SP
 “Jocelyn, Lydia and Madelynn are fairly new to the throwing events and will work toward developing the skills and strength this season to contribute to a very large women’s throwing group,” said coach Price.
Javariante Core | Jumps | Greensboro, N.C. | West Guildford HS 
PRs: 21’5″ LJ, 46’10” TJ
Prep Accomplishments: State Champ indoor 2023, State runner up outdoor 2022 
 “We are excited to welcome Javariante Core to our jumps program,” said coach Viershanie Latham. “With his athletic physique, jump talent, and academic prowess, we can’t wait to see what he is capable of this season.”
Sarah Smith | Pole Vault | Apex, N.C. | Apex HS
 “We are very excited that Sarah Smith has decided to join our team,” said coach Latham. “One of our first goals is always to keep North Carolina talent in North Carolina. We believe Sarah has the potential to become a great pole vaulter in our conference. As with any freshman, this will be a learning year for Sarah with each and every day.”
Ryan Tarapchak | Distance | Neshaminy, Pa. | Monmouth University
PRs: 4:14.63 mile, 8:32.82 3k, 14:49.73 5k
Prep Accomplishments: Suburban League Cross Country Champion, 11th Place finish at the 2021 PIAA Cross Country State Championship
 “I am excited to be bringing Ryan into the program,” said coach Billy Caldwell. “He has a year of high-level collegiate running under his belt, and I think this will allow him to make an immediate impact into the program we are building. He is super talented both on and off the track and I am excited to continue to watch him grow!”
Ashton Tolson | Distance | Baltimore, Md. | C. Milton Wright
PRs: 4:22.54 mile, 9:29.73 3200m, 15:27 5k (XC)
Prep Accomplishments: 5th place finish at the 2021 Maryland Cross Country Championship, 3200m Runner up at the 2022 Maryland Outdoor championship.
 “Ashton brings a lot to the table both on and off the track,” said coach Caldwell. “He has a history of competing at a high level and has had a ton of success competing at the front of races! He has a dynamic personality that provides a ton of depth to our culture off the track as well. He is going to be someone we are relying on for the next few years!”
Sam Dewar | Distance | Raleigh, N.C. | North Raleigh Christian Academy
PRs: 4:19.48 mile, 9:27.51 3200m, 15:40.0 5k (XC)
Prep Accomplishments: 4th Place finish at the 2022 NCISAA State XC Championship, 3rd place finish at the NCISAA Indoor Track Championship (mile).
 “Sam is a special athlete,” said coach Caldwell. “Is really excited to be part of the team and brings a elite level of buy in to our program.  He has shown his talent both on and off the track. Has some great footspeed and I am excited for him to develop while training with our team!”
Brianna Winsett | Middle Distance | Williamstown, W.V. | Williamstown HS
PRs: 5:19.9 mile
Prep Accomplishments: 2 top 10 finishes at the WVSSAC State Cross Country Championships,
 “Bri comes from an amazing family and understands the work that needs to be done to have success at the collegiate level,” said coach Caldwell. “She has shown her competitiveness in a lot of the bigger races she has run in her High School Career. I am excited for her to continue to grow into someone we can rely on both in XC and on the Track!”
Abrielle Schweitzer | Middle Distance | Harleyville, Pa. | Perkiomen Valley HS
PRs: 2:19.73 800m, 5:04.04 mile, 18:53.0 5k (XC)
 “Abi comes from a high school that has produced some amazing athletes,” said coach Caldwell. “She has been a part of some very competitive relays through her high school career. I am excited for her to be a part of the team and bring a high level of competitiveness and team first mindset to our program. She is ready to make and immediate impact to the front of our roster this fall!”
Sarah Ann Miller | Middle Distance | Elverson, Pa. | Twin Valley HS
PRs: 56.85 400m, 2:12.90 800m, 5:17.81 mile
Prep Accomplishments: Multi Time PIAA State Finalist
 “I am excited to have Sarah as part of our Pirate women!” said coach Caldwell. “She has had a ton of success in the 400 / 800 and brings a level of footspeed that will set her up for a lot of success on the conference and regional level. She is poised to be a front runner in our middle-distance group this spring!”
Claire Cashman | Distance | Minnetonka, Minn. | Minnetonka HS
PRs: 5:21 mile, 11:08.57 3200m, 18:42.4 5k (XC)
 “We are excited to add Claire to our long-distance group,” said coach Caldwell. “She has tremendous strength and is someone we are excited to have with our group. She brings tremendous energy and has competed at a high level. She is someone we are excited to add another person to the front group of our roster!”
Jessica Neal | Middle Distance | Haymarket, Va. | Radford University
 “Jessica brings dynamic energy to the group with raw talent,” said coach Caldwell. “She has great footspeed and loves competing and running at a high level. I am excited to get her into a race and let her be her best self!”