For the second time in as many days, UCF freshman Aurieyall Scott is a USA Junior Champion, this time in the 200 meters. Saturday afternoon at Oregon’s Hayward Field, the first-year Knight claimed an individual title at the 2011 USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships, just one day after winning the 100 meter championship.
Scott didn’t just win the event Saturday in Eugene, she dominated it, breaking her own school record in the process. An All-American in this event, the UCF freshman ran a 22.83 in the finals to take home her second individual USA Junior Championship of the weekend.
“Aurieyall continues to accomplish amazing things through hard work and dedication,” head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert said. “Earning two USA Junior Championships this weekend demonstrates how talented she is and how she maximizes her talent to the fullest potential. I am very proud of her and what she accomplished, not just this weekend, but all season long.”
Earlier in the afternoon, Scott posted a 22.82 in the preliminaries and was the top qualifier headed into the finals. Her time in the preliminaries had a wind reading of +3.7 and is not eligible to be a school record as it is deemed not wind legal. That didn’t stop Scott as she just went out and eclipsed her own previous mark of 22.98 set earlier in the spring with a 22.83 (+0.9) in the finals on Saturday.
Friday saw Scott become the first USA Junior Champion in any event in program history for UCF. She now has the distinction of becoming the first two-time USA Junior Champion following Saturday’s dominating showing in the 200 meters.
Not to be outdone, junior Jackie Coward qualified for Sunday’s semifinals of the 100-meter hurdles in the senior meet in record time.
UCF’s two-time First Team All-American ran a program-record 12.93 Saturday afternoon to move on to Sunday’s semifinals. She bested her own mark of 12.96 set earlier this season.
At Nationals two weeks ago, Coward ran a 12.78 in the finals of this event, but the time was just barely deemed wind-aided with a reading of +2.1. Like Scott, Coward sought to best her own record in the next heat she ran. But unlike Scott, Coward had to wait another two weeks for her shot, doing so in Saturday’s preliminaries.
“Jackie has done great things in her time at UCF and qualifying for the semifinals against the top runners in the nation on both the collegiate and professional levels is a great accomplishment,” Smith Gilbert added. “She has been a leader for her teammates during the season and she is a fierce competitor.”
Scott had already qualified for a spot on Team USA at the 2011 Pan American Junior Championships in the 100 meters, but now earns a spot on the team in a second event with this title in the 200. The 2011 Pan American Junior Championships will be held in Miramar, Fla., July 22-24.
Coward will run in Sunday’s semifinal along with UCF alum Tiki James at 3:45 p.m. ET. Sunday’s final in the 100-meter hurdles is set to begin at 5:37 p.m. ET in the final day of competition.