PITTSBURG, Kansas — Central State University hurdler Juan Scott captured the 60-meter hurdles national title on March 10 at the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships.
Scott, who won the NCAA D-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 Division-II membership in 2004.
A sophomore from Dayton, Scott advanced to the national final with a pace of 7.89 seconds in Friday’s March 9 preliminary heat. He was the fastest hurdler in his heat and finished 0.01 seconds behind Naim Fareed’s time of 7.88 (Limestone College).
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 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) South Region Athlete of the Year earlier in March, 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 Division II this season.
Scott, who failed to qualify for last year’s indoor final, talked about Saturday’s March 10 triumph.
“The goal today was to simply run to win,” Scott said. “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 said. “Juan has grown up so much from a year ago. He drew off last year’s experience and came into 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 will now turn his focus to the outdoor season where he hopes to successfully defend his 110-meter hurdles title. CSU will resume the outdoor season on Friday, March 23 at the Emory Classic in Atlanta.