Elliott to compete at NCAA's

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Photo provided. Youngstown State's Jaliyah Elliott has had an oustanding junior season. She will compete at the NCAA East Preliminary Round this weekend.

Jalyiah Elliott is taking her show on the road.

The Beloit Memorial graduate and current junior for Youngstown State, is currently in Jacksonville, Fla., where she will compete in the NCAA East Preliminary Round this weekend.

Elliott, Youngstown State's record-holder in the 60-meter dash, will compete in the 100 Thursday evening and in the 200 on Friday.

This is hardly Elliott's first time in the national spotlight. She made it all the way to the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in March in the 60-meter dash.

In a phone interview with the Daily News, Elliott said she's focused mostly on the 100.

"That's the race I'm really thinking about right now," Elliott said. "My goal is to make it to the finals, and then see what happens. The 200, I don't take it probably as seriously as I should. I need to change my mindset before Friday's race, but I know that I'm going to go my hardest."

Elliott enters the competition ranked 39th in the country with a season-best time of 11.53 seconds.

Elliott said there are a couple of factors that have led to her big year.

"I think the two biggest things are the training that I've done and the weightlifting that has gotten me stronger," Elliott said. "And my start has been a strong point, too. I get off to a strong start, and then it's up to me to hold the lead. The biggest thing I have to do is work on my finish."

Elliott said she's coming into the preliminaries with good feelings.

"The mental part is such a huge part of this sport," Elliott said. "If you don't have a positive mindset, you're not going to do well. I don't have a problem with that in the 100, but it's something I need to work on in the 200."

Regardless of what happens this weekend, it's been an outstanding junior season for Elliott.

She was an NCAA Second-Team All-American in the indoor portion of the season, and set new Horizon League records in the 60 and 200.

The honors continued to roll in during the outdoor season. She was named the school's track and field Athlete of the Year, and took home first place in both the 100 and 200 at the Horizon League Championships. She also ran anchor on the 4x100 relay team that won the conference.

The jewelry is piling up after finishing at the top so many times, including a first-place finish at the prestigious Penn Relays.

"I won a watch for winning that," Elliott said. "That was really cool because there were so many people watching. It was crazy. There was a girl in that race that had beaten me the week before in a different meet, so it was a good feeling to win that. I have that watch on my dresser, along with rings I've gotten for winning conference at indoor and outdoor."

The 100-meter prelims will take place Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville. The finals will take place Friday at 1 p.m., while Elliott will run in the 200 at 7:30 p.m. Friday, with the finals taking place Saturday evening.

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