Senior sprinter Jackie Coward (Knoxville, Tenn.) was named the Conference USA Track and Field Female Athlete of the Week, the conference announced Tuesday. Coward’s first honor of the season marks UCF’s third recognition in four weeks.
Coward took first place in the 60 hurdles in the consolation championship finals at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York with a season-best time of 8.09 to automatically qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships. She will join freshman Octavious Freeman (60 meters) in Boise, Idaho, in March.
Coward’s time, which ranks fourth in the nation, was .03 shy of her personal best and school-record time. The reigning C-USA Track Athlete of the Year and a seven-time C-USA champion picked up the second weekly award of her career. Coward earned the accolade on Feb. 15 of last season when she set the school record in the 60 hurdles at the Tyson Invitational.
Up next, No. 5 UCF will split between the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson, S.C., and the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., on Feb. 10-11.