By Jim Fenton, The Enterprise (Brockton)
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- Jayci Andrews of Plymouth has added another chapter to her sensational Bridgewater State University track & field career.
For the second time this year, Andrews became a national champion and also earned All-America honors in a second event at the NCAA Division 3 Outdoor Championships in Geneva, Ohio on Saturday afternoon.
The Plymouth South High graduate finished first in the 100-meter hurdles, two months after winning the 60-meter hurdles event at the indoor championship meet in Boston.
Andrews posted one of the fastest 100-meter hurdles time in Division 3 meet history, winning the championship in a school-record 13.66 seconds. That is the second-fastest winning time at the Division 3 nationals since 1998.
Less than two hours later, Andrews placed third in the 400-meter hurdles race to become an All-America performer for the fourth time in her career.
Andrews has one season of eligibility remaining after suffering an injury in his sophomore year and will compete for the Bears next spring to close out her career.
“It’s a great accomplishment that I never thought I’d achieve,” said Andrews of being a two-time national champion. “I’m so proud of myself. That is something no one else can take away from me.
“They can take all the school records and all the accolades, but this is something that is going to stick with me and Bridgewater throughout the rest of my life. I’m proud of myself for that.”
Andrews defeated Favor Ezewuzie of Wheaton College in Illinois (13.85). At the indoor meet in March, Andrews was first in the 60 hurdles in 8.68 seconds with Ezewuzie finishing in 8.69 seconds.
Andrews was last at the first hurdle, then took off and moved past the entire field for her title.
“As we kept going, after the fifth hurdle, that’s when I started to really pick it up and finished strong,” said Andrews, speaking by phone before boarding a flight home.
Andrews qualified for the NCAAs as a freshman during the indoor and outdoor seasons, then was unable to compete as a sophomore after suffering a broken bone in her foot.
As a junior, Andrews was 13th during the indoor season in the 400 hurdles and second in the outdoor season in the 100 hurdles with a time of 14.14 seconds.
She kept improving throughout the indoor and outdoor seasons this year and put it all together in the championship meets.
“She was perfect today,” said BSU coach Connor Foley. “She did everything we’ve been practicing, put all the pieces together.
“It’s an enormous credit to all the work she’s done. She bought into everything and did all the work. It’s so good to see results play out for someone who deserves this.”
Andrews kept turning in winning performances during the indoor season, capping it off with the national title at the Reggie Lewis Center, and that carried over into the spring.
“It was probably in the middle of the winter season,” said Andrews when asked when she thought she could win a national title. “I was feeling pretty good, being consistent. I’m glad I had the winter base to set it up for the outdoor season.
“My consistency has given me enough confidence to tell myself that I can do it, I’ve got this. I just had to run my own race. Having won (in March), that definitely calmed down my nerves a lot.”
The 100 hurdles event was at 12:50 p.m., and after finishing first, Andrews lined up for the 400 hurdles at 2:15 p.m. With a time of 1:00.39, Andrews was third behind Dilys Osei of Emory and Bella Solis of Loras College.
Andrews will graduate from BSU next year and plans to be part of the Bears’ outdoor track team starting in March 2020 to complete her eligibility. She would like nothing better than to cap off a stellar career with one more national title.
“That would be great finishing off my college career,” she said. “That’s what I strive for. It would be amazing.”