EUGENE, Oregon – Through three days of the Jamaican and United States Olympic Trials in Kingston and Eugene, respectively, Arkansas track and field has collected three Olympic qualifiers and advanced six Razorbacks to next-round competition.
Omar McLeod was the top Arkansas performer of the day, successfully defending his 110-meter hurdles national title at the Jamaican National Senior Championship. McLeod is the third Razorback to advance to Rio with Team Jamaica following in the footsteps of Kemoy Campbell (5,000) and Clive Pullen (triple jump).
Jamaican Trials | June 30-July 3 | National Stadium
Along with McLeod veteran sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown also had a strong and productive day on the track in front of her home crowd at Independence Park. Campbell-Brown raced to third place in heat two of the 200 semifinals in 23.07, qualifying for the finals round of the event.
Contesting the 200 finals on Sunday, July 3, Campbell-Brown will close Razorback action at the Jamaican Trials.
U.S. Trials | July 1-10 | Hayward Field
Chrishuna Williams, the first Razorback competitor on day two of the U.S. Olympic Trials, set a standard of excellence earning an automatic qualifier into the 800-meter final as a top-three finisher in heat one of the semifinals. Williams posted the seventh-best time of the day with 2:01.29.
Williams’ outstanding performance was followed by a phenomenal showing by Taylor Ellis-Watson in the 400 who advanced to the quarter-mile final with a new personal best of 50.60.
“I just wanted to make it to the final,” said Ellis-Watson. “I usually have multiple races in one day. It was nice just to focus on one race for the day. My plan has always been to finish in the top three but definitely no lower than sixth so I can get into the relay pool.”
A product of Philadelphia, Ellis-Watson will contest the 400-meter final Sunday at 6:38 p.m. CDT.
Arkansas was represented well in the short sprints as well, as three Hogs Kenzo Cotton, Tyson Gay and Jarrion Lawson all made the cut for the 100-meter semifinal round finishing among the top 21 best competitors in the event of the day.
Fresh off his 100 qualifier, Lawson was back in action, leaping into Sunday’s long jump final with a best mark of 8.06m/26-5 1/2 — the fifth-best mark in the field.
“Overall, I’m just happy to get through to the next day,” said Lawson. “Right now I’m just trying to get a fit for my new shoes. In the 100, I had a bit of a problem with my block start, but that can be easily fixed tomorrow. I just plan on recovering the best I can and coming back ready to compete.”
Cotton, Gay and Lawson take on the 100 semifinals Sunday at 6:19 p.m. The top two from each heat plus the next two fastest times will advance to the finals set to go off Sunday evening at 7:53 p.m.
Saturday, July 2 Olympic Trials Results
100 meter prelims
Tyson Gay (3) – 9.96Q
Kenzo Cotton (17) – 10.12Q
Jarrion Lawson (20) – 10.16Q
200 meters semis^
Veronica Campbell-Brown (4) – 23.07Q
400 meter semis
Taylor Ellis-Watson (4) – 50.60Q
800 meter semis
Chrishuna Williams (7) – 2:01.29Q
110 hurdle semis^
Omar McLeod (1) – 13.43Q
110 hurdle finals^
Omar McLeod (1) – 13.01
Long Jump qualifying
Jarrion Lawson (5) – 8.06m/26-5 1/2
Friday, July 1 Olympic Trials Results
100 meter finals^
Veronica Campbell-Brown (4) – 11.10
400 meter prelims
Taylor Ellis-Watson (6) – 51.54Q
800 meter prelims
Chrishuna Williams (16) – 2:03.18Q
5,000 meter finals^
Kemoy Campbell (1) – 13:43.21
Sunday, July 3 Olympic Trials Schedule
6:15 p.m. – Long Jump (Finals) | Jarrion Lawson
6:25 p.m. – 200 (Finals) | Veronica Campbell-Brown^
6:19 p.m. – 100 (Semifinals) | Kenzo Cotton, Tyson Gay, Jarrion Lawson
6:38 p.m. – 400 (Finals) | Taylor Ellis-Watson
7:53 p.m. – 100 (Finals)* | Kenzo Cotton, Tyson Gay, Jarrion Lawson
^ – denotes Jamaican Trials
* – requires qualification
For more information on Arkansas track and field including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.