National champion swimmers return to campus

Left to right Jeff Faucette, Jack McCann and Jake Smith as they appeared in a Sept. 2014 visit to campus, above, and on the ECU swim team in the late 1950s.

Left to right Jeff Faucette, Jack McCann and Jake Smith as they appeared in a Sept. 2014 visit to campus, upper image, and on the ECU swim team in the late 1950s, below.

Three members of East Carolina’s 1959 NAIA national championship swim team returned to campus the weekend of Sept. 20 to attend a reunion of the Sigma Nu fraternity.

Jeff Faucette, Jack McCann and Jake Smith were among 10 swimmers on the 1957 and 1959 teams selected as All-Americans. McCann and Smith each won six events at national competitions. McCann swam the breaststroke and is credited with inventing what’s called the whip kick that now is widely used in competitive swimming.

East Carolina’s swim team also won the 1957 NAIA national championships.

Several members of both national championship swim teams were Sigma Nu brothers. Sigma Nu was among the first social fraternities on campus. The fraternity closed several years ago but is slated to officially return to campus in 2016.

Faucette now lives in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Smith lives in Hickory and McCann lives in Morehead City.

– Steve Tuttle

The national champion East Carolina swim team.

The national champion East Carolina swim team.

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ECU player selected ninth in draft by Toronto Blue Jays

East Carolina junior Jeff Hoffman was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays with the ninth

Hoffman

Hoffman

overall pick in the 2014 Major League Baseball First Year Amateur Draft Thursday night, which was televised live on the MLB Network.

With his first round selection, Hoffman becomes the highest draft pick in school history besting ECU Hall-of-Famer Theodore “Blue” Edwards, who was the 21st-overall selection by the Utah Jazz in the 1989 National Basketball Association Draft.

Read more at ECUPirates.com.

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ECU student wins title as best amateur golfer in the Carolinas

Katie Kirk (Photo courtesy Carolinas Golf Association)

Katie Kirk (Photo courtesy Carolinas Golf Association)

By Steve Tuttle

Rising East Carolina University senior golfer Katie Kirk won the 88th annual Carolinas Women’s Amateur Championship on May 22 in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina[t1] . The victory in the prestigious event pegs Kirk as the best women’s amateur golfer in the two Carolinas.

Kirk finished with a total of 220 in the three-day event at the Wachesaw Plantation Club sponsored by the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA). Lane Gakeler, also a member of the ECU women’s golf team, tied for 10th place with a score of 229.

Kirk, who is from Davidson, near Charlotte, birdied the final hole to win the tournament by one shot over two competitors.  “When I was standing on the 18th tee I knew I had to make a birdie to win,” Kirk said. “I just told myself to play the hole as I’ve done all week.”

Her third shot from the fairway with a wedge came to rest within inches of the hole for a tap-in birdie. “It was awesome! I’ve always wanted to win a CGA championship. I’ve had a great week. I can’t wait to come back next year.”

Kirk is a two-time National Golf Coaches Association Division I Scholar All-American, a two-time Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal recipient. She has been named to the ECU Director of Athletics Honor Roll four times. She is majoring in economics.

The Carolinas Women’s Amateur is widely considered the premier stroke play event for women from North and South Carolina. Past winners include many of the best women golfers in the region. Among them are N.C. State University golf coach Page Marsh Lea, Wake Forest assistant golf coach Stephanie Neill Harner, UNC Chapel Hill golf coach Amber Marsh, Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame member Patty Moore and Brenda Corrie-Keuhn, a member of the National Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

 

 

 

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ECU joins in Give Kids a Smile event

ECU dental student Amanda Stroud smiles while getting a hug from five year old Jaden Wilson after she worked on his smile. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

ECU dental student Amanda Stroud smiles while getting a hug from five year old Jaden Wilson after she worked on his smile. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

ECU dental students and student-athletes were among the volunteers at the Give Kids a Smile event Feb. 7 at Eastern Pediatrics and Orthodontics in Greenville.

Volunteers from ECU, along with 20 local dentists, collaborated to treat approximately 140 patients with free dental care, ranging from simple cleanings to more advanced procedures.

Visitors to the event included North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, Speaker of the House Thom Tillis and Sen. Louis Pate. ECU coaches Ruffin McNeil and Jeff Lebo were on hand as well.

Patient Breana Williams talks to Stefanie Fresenius from the ECU Women's Track & Field and Cross Country. 

Patient Breana Williams talks to Stefanie Fresenius from the ECU Women’s Track & Field and Cross Country.

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