Marioky Scott

by Terry Watson | February 20th, 2018
Marioky Scott

Marioky Scott

Sometimes, one conversation is all it takes to change everything. Marioky Scott could attest, carving out a great career in track and field throughout the years. Born on February 28, 1969, Scott lived in Panama until she was 14. While she was brought into the sport early, it wasn’t in a conventional way — and it wasn’t her first choice in athletics.

“My first love when it came to sports was swimming,” Scott said. “When I was seven years old in Panama, I was part of a swim club and it introduced us to running because it went hand and hand, as running increased speed in the pool.”

Scott continued swimming competitively until she moved to Fort Monroe, VA., which brought another change to her life — and the conversation which brought her to track and field.

“When I moved to Virginia, I attempted swimming here, but Panama has tropical weather, which isn’t as cold as it is here,” Scott said. “As a result, I had illnesses like bronchitis and pneumonia which forced me to give up swimming. I also attempted basketball for a little while. One day after practice, the track coach at the school, Albert Marrow, said I looked like a track runner, and asked me to come to practice. The next day I went and never looked back.”

“Coach Albert and (his wife) Lavon were a saving grace. They nurtured me in ways unimaginable. Not only were they my track coaches, but they were my parents away from home. They became mentors and guided me through some difficult times during my high school years. Without their support, participating in track and field would not have been possible.”

Scott quickly adapted to the sport at Kecoughtan High School in Hampton, participating in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles, along with the 4×100 and 4×400 relay races. Scott’s performances helped her receive a track scholarship at Virginia State University, but after redshirting her freshman year to focus more on academics, she decided to move closer to her family.

Scott would go to Christopher Newport University in Newport News, participating in numerous events and excelling throughout. In Scott’s senior year in 1995, she was named conference champion in the 100 meter hurdle, was on champion teams in the 4×100 and 4×400 meter relays, and was second in the 400 meter hurdle. Scott was also second-team all-conference in the 55 and 400 meter hurdles, 4×800 meter relay, shot put, and cross country. She also finished second in the heptathlon, consisting of the 100 meter hurdle, 200 and 800 meter races, long jump, high jump, shot put, and javelin.

Scott said she focused more toward running while maintaining her versatility in the field portions. “I primarily did the field events once or twice a week, at the beginning of practice or the end,” Scott said. “For me, the 400 meter hurdles was the toughest — it’s a combination of speed and maintaining stamina in between each hurdle. By the time you hit the 300-meter mark, your legs are heavy and your arms aren’t as fast. The hurdles appear taller toward the end of the race, but you have to stay mentally tough to finish strong.”

Scott graduated with a criminal justice degree from Christopher Newport University and later received her Master’s in forensic psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Currently, Scott works in the victims’ service unit of the Newport News Commonwealth’s attorney office, serving as a bilingual victim court advocate for those affected by sexual assault, domestic violence, homicide, robberies, assault, and human trafficking.

Scott also continued her work in track and field, this time teaching at several schools in the Newport News and Williamsburg area, teaching at Peninsula Catholic, Warwick, Bruton and Denbigh High School. She also currently works with an AAU Summer Track Club — the East End Flyers.

“I became interested in coaching in hopes of giving back to my community and our youth in order to offer them opportunities that were once offered to me,” Scott said. “I wanted to inspire, motivate and teach youth the importance of discipline and hard work. I wanted to provide a safe haven for youth to thrive in, to grow and learn without barriers.”

Scott would also participate in workouts with those she coached to keep them motivated, but also to prepare for a second chance at track and field herself — this time in the U.S.A. Track and Field Masters division for participants 40 and older.

“After leaving college, I felt like I had unresolved business in track and field,” Scott said. “I was told I couldn’t run until I was 40, so I waited to get into the Master’s division. During that time, I would work out with the students to keep them dedicated and help them maintain a level of focus, along with expectations.
“In 2013, I embarked on the journey to participate in USATF track completion. I solicited the assistance of my former college sprint coach Louis Johnson. I am certain that without his guidance, these achievements would not have been possible.”

In 2015, Scott participated in the USATF Masters Outdoor Track and Field national championships in Jacksonville, FL., winning the 80-meter hurdle race, finishing second in the high jump, and third in the long jump. The next year in Grand Rapids, MI., Scott took first in the shuttle hurdle relay and 4×100 meter relay and second in the 80-meter hurdles and high jump.

Last year in Baton Rouge, LA., Scott won the high jump and shuttle hurdle relay events, placed second in the long jump, and third in the 80-meter hurdles. This year, Scott will participate in the indoor nationals — which will take place in Landover, MD. Scott is looking to participate in the 60-meter hurdles, long and high jump with possibilities of the 60 and 200-meter races.

Scott said she’s not only thankful for her mentors throughout the years, but her family as well.

“By far, my mother, Luisa L. Scott, has been my greatest inspiration,” Scott said. “She was a distance runner in Colon, Panama and I believe my talents and work ethics were inherited from her. My mother is a single parent of four and I watched her sacrifice to ensure we did not go without. I like to call her our ‘Miracle Mom’ because during times of adversity, she always came through for us.”

“My grandmother, Braulia Galvan de Feurtado, influenced me greatly. She was a distance runner and swimmer in Panama and she taught me the true meaning of unconditional love and support. I admire her because she was such a giving person. She taught me the importance of self-pride and self-worth. My younger siblings, Edilberto Galvan, Braulia and Florentino Charris are my biggest motivation and number one cheerleaders. Throughout my years of high school and college, they motivated me to remain focused and I wanted to be an inspiration to them and a positive role model. We are each other’s supporters — though they view me as their superhero, to be honest they’re my heroes.”

Scott said it takes a lot of practice, but encourages others looking to get into track and field.

“You definitely have to be dedicated and a student of the sport,” Scott said. “Do your research, work hard and know that repetition is very important. It doesn’t happen overnight, but continue to push yourself to get better and faster. As long as you’re consistent, it will all pay off.”

Scott is looking to compete in the world championships in Malaga, Spain in September, and is looking for sponsors to assist in the process. Her PayPal account is under Marioky E. Scott and her email address is mescott28@gmail.com.

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