YPSILANTI, Mich. – Donald Scott started track in high school and now he’s an Olympic athlete with dreams of a medal.
Eastern Michigan University has a rich history of athletes participating in the Olympics and Scott is proud to be part of that group. He’s the only EMU athlete to compete in the triple jump.
Bowen Field House on EMU’s campus is about two miles from the football stadium. Scott has spent time in both places. He was recruited from his Florida high school to come to EMU to play wide receiver.
“I got a full scholarship to Eastern for football. Before I signed my letter, I made sure I was able to walk on to the track team and continue my track career,” Scott said.
Scott still wanted to run and jump so he asked the EMU track coach if he could walk on.
“In the fall, actually spring and fall, it would be football. As soon as the last game is over I came straight to the track and did that for four years,” Scott said.
In his redshirt season, Scott focused solely on track. He graduated in 2015, turned pro, then tried for the Olympics in 2016.
“Went to the trials and placed 7th. Fell short,” he said. “I knew I had a lot more to grow in the triple jump for sure.”
In 2021, after a lot of hard work, Scott waited until his final jump at the 2021 trials -- 17.18 meters to make the team.
“That’s when I got into the top three,” he said.
Scott trains between five and six days a week at EMu with his training partner Tori Franklin, a Chicago native and Michigan State University graduate. Franklin is also a triple jumper.
Scott competed in the trials in 2012 and 2016. She recently went through a coaching change and reached out to Eastern’s associate track coach, Sterling Roberts, prior to the 2021 trials.
“They’re both focused and equally motivated,” Roberts said. “That’s why they’re Olympians.”
Franklin said with all the change she didn’t have a good season, but she did have a great Olympic trial. She finished second with a jump of 14.36 meters. She credits her coach and Scott.