ECU track and field

Coach Kurt Craft talks to his track and field team prior to the start of a past meet.

The East Carolina Pirates track and field team will compete at the Darius Dixon invitational from Feb. 12 through Feb. 13 at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, with limited participation from both male and female players due to COVID-19.

Last season’s Darius Dixon Invitational was described as “another successful weekend,” by Curt Kraft, director of ECU’s track and field and cross country teams, according to ECUPirates.com.

"We had another great meet to close out the regular season competition schedule,” Kraft said last season. “Now, we have to turn our attention to the indoor conference championships. Going four weekends in a row has been very tough on the kids' bodies. We have to rest up over the next couple weeks both physically and mentally. Both teams feel really good about going into the meet with rest."

At the Brant Tolsma invitational on Feb. 5 through Feb. 6, sophomore jumper Niejel Wilkins, who was the only male to compete at the meet, finished in sixth place at long jump with a distance of 6.59 meters, according to ECUPirates.com.

On the women’s team, freshman sprinter Melicia Mouzzon finished in third in the 60 meter dash finals, where she recorded a time of 7.60 seconds. Junior multis Mackenzie Whitaker competed in the 800 meter run recording a time of 2:26.25, where she finished in 11th.

Junior pole vaulter Sommer Knight finished with a height of 3.91 meters, which landed her in a fifth place tie. The Stith sisters, senior jumper Bria Stith and junior jumper Brooke Stith competed in the long jump where they finished third and ninth respectively, with distances of 5.50 meters and 5.20 meters.

“Each week, we have a goal to get better,” Kraft said. “We try to build upon a foundation, and that’s what we did.”

According to Kraft, the only females to compete at the Darius Dixon invitational will be Brooke Stith, Whitaker, Bria Stith, Knight and Mouzzon. Wilkins will be the only male to compete in the invitational for ECU.

“My administration and myself decided to take just a handful of people, the kids who we thought would compete in the national championships,” Kraft said.

Kraft said COVID-19 and the cancelation of the American Athletic Conference indoor championships is the reason for limited participation from both male and female players this season.

“The American Athletic Conference (indoor) championships were cancelled back in December (2020),” Kraft said. “So when they cancelled our indoor championships, that shifted the decision to not really have indoor track because if you don’t have a championship, what are you competing for?”

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.