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Scott Qualifies for USA Steeplechase Final

June 23, 2011
|  Eugene, Ore.
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Liberty assistant coach Derek Scott, shown above pacing Sam Chelanga, qualified for the men's steeplechase final at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Liberty assistant track & field/cross country coach Derek Scott ran a successful race Thursday evening at the 2011 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field. He placed third in his heat of the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase, qualifying for Saturday's event final.

Scott, just completing his first year at Liberty, ran inside the top three for nearly the entire race on a pleasant evening in Eugene, Ore. He ended up clocking a time of 8:41.02, trailing only Ben Bruce (8:40.62) and Billy Nelson (8:40.76) in his section. As a result, Scott was able to claim one of the automatic qualifying positions into the final.

Scott's preliminary time ranked eighth among the 14 men who will race in the final Saturday at 6:01 p.m. Eastern. They will be all be attempting to earn a trip to the 2011 IAAF World Championships, slated for Aug. 27-Sept. 4 in Daegu, South Korea. The simplest formula for advancement to Daegu is a top-three finish on Saturday and a time of 8:23.10 or faster.

Scott will attempt to qualify for Team USA for the second time in his career. He previously ran the men's steeplechase at the 2004 IAAF World Junior Championships in Grosseto, Italy.    

Several hours after Scott's next race, one of the athletes he coaches will take the track. Liberty freshman Josh MacDonald will run in the men's steeplechase final at the USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships, also taking place at Hayward Field, Saturday at 9 p.m. Eastern.

Watch Flotrack's postrace interview with Derek Scott:

Watch more video of 2011 USATF Outdoor Track & Field Championships on flotrack.org