Freshman Octavious Freeman and sophomore Aurieyall Scott of the UCF track & field team moved closer to representing their country Friday as both advanced to the semifinals of the 100m at the U.S. Olympic Trials at Hayward Field. The 100m semifinals and finals are slated for Saturday.
The semifinals will begin at 6:40 p.m. ET. The finals will follow at 8:52 p.m. ET, with NBC providing television coverage.
Freeman and Scott competed in the same heat Friday and Freeman placed second at 11.20, automatically advancing to the semifinals. Scott finished fourth in 11.31, but moved on by posting the fastest time among the top non-automatic qualifiers in the five total heats. The Knights ran in cold, rainy conditions Friday.
“We ran well in the rain,” UCF head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert said. “We knew the conditions would be tough, so we trained in the rain. It will be raining at the Olympics in London. I told them to prepare for and visualize the rain. They did a good job of executing.”
Freeman finished ahead of 2012 NCAA 100m champion English Gardner of Oregon. Competing on her home track, Gardner placed third at 11.27.
Freeman and Scott are two of four Knights in action in Eugene. On Friday, senior Jackie Coward competed in the first round of the 100m hurdles. She finished fifth in her heat in 13.27.
Junior Sonnisha Williams will participate in the long jump, which starts next Friday.
Former Knight Tiki James, who concluded her collegiate career in 2010, advanced to the 100m hurdles semifinals. She placed fourth in her heat at 13.17.
The largest national championship meet in the world, the Olympic Trials include more than 1,000 athletes competing for the right to represent the U.S. at the Olympic Games in London.