UCF track & field sophomore sprinter Aurieyall Scott came up just short of making the United States Olympic Team for the 2012 Summer Games in London, placing eighth in the final heat of the 200-meter at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday night.
Despite running a school and personal record 22.68 in front of a national television audience, Scott was overmatched by some of the best athletes in the country — and the world.
The other seven sprinters in Saturday’s final heat all rank among the world’s wind-legal [less than 4.5 mph of wind assistance] top 10 this year. Allyson Felix, currently the fastest woman on the planet, ran a meet-record time of 21.69 for first place. Carmelita Jeter and Sanya Richards-Ross, who finished second and third, respectively, will also join Felix at the London Games, as the top three times were awarded roster spots.
UCF track & field coach Caryl Smith Gilbert, who has elevated the program to a national championship contender during her tenure, was impressed with her sprinter’s performance on one of the sport’s biggest stages.
“I was very proud of Aurieyall. … Lane two is a very difficult lane to run in, especially in a final of that caliber — one of the fastest finals of all time,” Smith Gilbert said in a release. “She ran her race pattern well, and it was great that she was able to think mentally under that kind of pressure. It shows you what kind of competitor she is.”
Scott, one of only two collegiate athletes participating in the final heat, had already had an accomplished season with the Knights. During her sophomore season, Scott was named an All-American and an All-Conference athlete. She is the only UCF track athlete to ever reach the finals of an Olympic Trials event.
Senior hurdler Jackie Coward, freshman sprinter Octavious Freeman and junior long jumper Sonnisha Williams joined Scott at the Trials and competed for a chance to become Olympians.
Despite not making the Olympic roster, three of those athletes will still get to represent their country at the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association [NACAC] Under-23 Championships in Mexico. The event will take place July 6-8 in Guanajuato, Mexico, and will feature athletes from North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
Freeman is already a member of the United States team while Scott and Williams have been tabbed as alternates.
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