Central State hurdler Juan Scott captures NCAA Div. II 60 meter hurdles national title
PITTSBURG, Kansas – Central State University hurdler Juan Scott captured the 60 meter hurdles national title on Saturday at the NCAA Div. II Indoor Championships.
Scott, who won the NCAA Div. II 110 meter hurdles outdoor title last spring, continues to make school history as the first CSU student-athlete to claim an NCAA indoor track and field title since the program earned exclusive NCAA Div. II membership in 2004.
Scott, a sophomore from Dayton, Ohio, advanced to the national final with a pace of 7.89 in Friday’s preliminary heat. He was the fastest hurdler in his heat and finish slightly behind Naim Fareed’s time of 7.88 (Limestone).
In the finals, Scott maintained pace with the field and gained momentum heading into the third hurdle. With every hurdle he inched towards the front of the pack and leaned across the line in 7.83 seconds to take the win along with All-American honors. Pittsburg State senior Justice Burks finished just behind with a pace of 7.85.
Scott, who was named to the USTFCCCA South Region Athlete of the Year earlier this week, concludes the 2018 indoor season as an eight time winner in his event. His best performance was on Feb. 16 at Ohio State University. Scott blazed across the finish line with a new personal best time of 7.82 seconds. He beat out OSU hurdlers DaJuan Seward (7.86) and Brent Carroll (7.91) for the top spot. The time of 7.82 seconds remains the fastest in all of NCAA Div. II this season.
Scott, who failed to qualify for last year’s indoor final, talked about Saturday’s triumph.
“The goal today was to simply run to win,” Scott says. “After last year’s indoor result, I wanted to prove that I belong here while building a reputation as a strong competitor. Going forward, my focus turns to defending my outdoor title and helping our program be the best that it can be.”
CSU track and field coach James Rollins, who won multiple national championships as a hurdler at the school in the 1990s, talked about Scott’s progression and potential.
“Juan is a great champion and will now shift his focus to the outdoor season,” Rollins says. “Juan has grown up so much from a year ago. He drew of last year’s experience and came in to this week already knowing what to expect. During the race, he was able to maintain his composure and had the competitive drive to finish strong to come away with the victory. It was a great moment for me as a coach to be able to present Juan with the first place trophy on the podium.”
Scott and the Marauders will resume the outdoor season this week when they travel to Orlando, Florida to compete in the University of Central Florida Black & Gold Challenge on Friday.