With her performance, Coward becomes the first UCF outdoor All-American in program history. It was the second overall All-American award in Coward’s career. She gained the honor in the 60-meter hurdles at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championships. Her fifth-place performance also earned UCF four points, the first points scored by the Knights an outdoor championship as UCF finished in a tie for 46th.
Competing in an elite field, Coward jumped out to a quick start Saturday and was among the top-three runners midway through the race before crossing the finish line in 13.04 seconds in fifth place in the eight-athlete final. Coward’s effort was the fastest wind-legal time of her UCF career.
Virginia Tech’s Queen Quedith Harrison (12.67) won the title while Miami’s Ti’erra Brown (12.84), Penn State’s Aleesha Barber (12.91) and Virginia Tech’s Kristi Castlin (13.00) edged out Coward for the top-four spots.
Freshman Sonnisha Williams (Jacksonville, Fla.) also competed Saturday in the long jump. In her first trip to nationals, Williams’ top mark of 21. 19-1.50/5.83m (+1.4) ranked 21st. UTEP’s Blessing Okagbare won the event after also winning the 100-meter dash on Friday.