Dominique Scott-Efurd, a University of Arkansas alumna and professional middle-distance runner for Adidas International, will speak at the College of Education and Health Professions’ commencement ceremony on May 11 at 5:30 p.m.
Scott-Efurd was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. She moved to the United States to run and study at the University of Arkansas in 2011. While at the U of A, Scott-Efurd was a five-time NCAA Champion, ten-time SEC champion and eight-time All American in cross-country, indoor and outdoor track. She was named the 2015 NCAA Indoor Runner of the Year, and the 2014-2015 SEC Triple Crown Runner of the Year. She currently holds six running records at the U of A.
As a senior in 2016, Dominique capped off her collegiate career by winning the 5000m/10000m double at the NCAA Championships, helping Arkansas secure the overall team title. Dominique graduated from the Walton College of Business with a degree in Business Marketing and a minor in Enterprise Resource Planning.
Following the storybook end to her collegiate racing, Scott-Efurd signed an endorsement deal with Adidas, before competing in her first Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her success in collegiate running has been followed by an outstanding professional career, including competing in the 2018 World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, UK in the women’s 1,500m and 3,000m and breaking the South African records in the indoor 1,500m, mile and 3,000m.
In addition to her running, she has worked to give back to her community. Women’s Running magazine recognized her work, naming her one of 21 women who are changing the world through running. She founded The Dom Squad, an educational running program targeting middle school girls to help them with both physical activity and their self-esteem. She also started an initiative to bring the local running community together in Fayetteville, Arkansas, called “NWA Runners Unite.” Scott-Efurd has hosted two NWA Runners Unite events – free, fun social runs for all ages and abilities. The last one was on Feb. 16, 2019.
“I started NWA Runners Unite because there is a big running culture in Northwest Arkansas, but wanted to try bring everyone together and create a sense of community among the runners,” she said.
Scott-Efurd said a date for the third edition of NWA Runners Unite has not been set yet.
“We will try to have two to three group runs a year,” she added.
Despite her global presence in the running community, Scott-Efurd makes Fayetteville her home with her husband, Cameron Efurd, a COEHP kinesiology graduate. The two met on her recruiting trip to the U of A. He was a on the men’s track team and, at the time, a sophomore.
“When I came to the U of A to start my college career we just hit it off,” she said. “Cameron is my biggest supporter and the reason for my running success.”
Scott-Efurd said time management was the key to successfully keeping her grades on track during five years of record-breaking running at the U of A.
“My teammates and I were all very good at using our time well,” she said. “If we were traveling to a meet we would use the time to study and when we were at practice we took care of business.
“There wasn’t much wasting time.”
When asked what she appreciated most about the U of A, she said it was unequivocally the community support.
“The U of A creates a special bond between the Fayetteville residents, which makes the city of Fayetteville feel like a family,” she said. “While at the U of A I always felt so much love and support from the locals.”