East Carolina University track and field alumnus Tynita Butts has qualified for the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships. The Championship is set to be held in Dota, Qatar and will span from Sept. 27 to Oct. 7.
“All I can say God is amazing and it’s been a long road,” Butts said. “I could say the hardest thing about the time I graduated until now, was having to learn I wasn’t going to have instant gratification.”
At her time at ECU, Butts was a specialist in high jump and long jump events. During the 2010-2011 season, she became the first female to win multiple All-America designations in ECU program history. Butts ended her career with a total of six designations for the award.
Along with that, she also won the C-USA Indoor Championships for the high jump with a 1.86 meter jump during the 2012-2013 season. Butts didn’t stop there, as she won three additional first-place finishes for the same event.
In her final season at ECU, she won the Conference USA Women’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year after finishing second in the NCAA Outdoor Championships, the highest placing for an athlete in ECU history.
“It was hard trying to get a step up to who I was back in college after my ACL tear in college. I tore it right after the NCAA Championships. After that I did want to quit, but I had great support from good people that believed in my talents and never gave up on me,” Butts said.
After her injury Butts began the rehab process and trained with the help of one of her biggest supporters in her life, husband Roderick D. Townsend, who is a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
“I’ve been training at the U of L with my husband who is a two-time gold medalist, Paralympic athlete and he’s my biggest fan and my biggest supporter,” Butts said. “Watching him compete at the highest level in Rio 2016 Olympics definitely inspired me to keep going.”
More recently, Butts placed third in the 2019 United States Track and Field Championships which led to her placing on the roster.
“Next thing I know I get second at Indoor Championships then come Outdoor Championships, set a new outdoor personal record since 2013 and placing third and raising me to top-32 in the world, which qualified me for IAAF,” Butts said.
Butts will be representing team USA in the championships for the very first time on Sept. 2, and her track experience are likely to benefit the United States once the championships are finished.