EUGENE, Ore. – Sunday proved to be the best day yet for Arkansas men’s and women’s track and field at Olympic Trials.
Current and former Razorbacks Veronica Campbell-Brown, Taylor Ellis-Watson, Tyson Gay and Jarrion Lawson booked their tickets to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 2016 Olympic Games. Arkansas now has seven representatives for the most prestigious international athletics competition in the world.
Jamaican Trials | June 30-July 3 | National Stadium
Recognized on the professional circuit as one of the most dominant sprinters during the past decade, Campbell-Brown qualified for her fifth Olympic team with a 22.80 second performance in the 200-meter dash final. Campbell-Brown heads into the August competition as a seven-time Olympic medalist – two of which are 200 gold medals from the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.
Along with the 200, Campbell-Brown’s fourth-place finish in the 100 solidified her hold as a perpetual 4-x-100 relay leg for Team Jamaica. She has represented her country in the 400 relay at four-consecutive Olympic Games, medaling in three of them.
U.S. Trials | July 1-10 | Hayward Field
In front of a crowd of 22,424 track and field fans Ellis-Watson (400), Gay (100) and Lawson (100 and long jump) held nothing back in their respective events.
Advancing almost effortlessly through two rounds of the 400, Ellis-Watson steadily progressed, improving from her first-round showing of 51.54 to her final finish and personal best of 50.25. Her second sub-51 time of the weekend propelled the 11-time All-American to a fourth-place finish, earning her a coveted spot on arguably the fastest 1,600 relay in the world.
Another former Razorback and veteran Olympic sprinter, Gay raced into Team USA’s 4-x-100 relay pool as the fifth-best performer in the 100 with a time of 10.03 – .02 seconds off earning an individual berth in the event.
This year will mark Gay’s third-consecutive Olympic appearance in red, white and blue.
A three-time NCAA long jump champion, Lawson was quick to make his presence felt at Hayward Field. The Texarkana, Texas, native opened up strong with a mark of 8.20m/26-11 before breaking to race the semifinal round of the 100.
With his place secured in the 100 finals off a time of 10.01, Lawson resumed action in the long jump.
His second jump of 8.32m/27-3 1/4, initially marked a foul, was overturned as Lawson protested the red flag under the advisement of Arkansas assistant coach Travis Geopfert.
Never slipping below fifth in the standings, Lawson earned three more attempts as one of the eight best jumpers in the field of 12.
His legs warmed from three trips down the runway and a 100 semifinal, Lawson unleashed a monstrous, world-leading mark on his fourth attempt, sailing through the air to an 8.58m/28-1 3/4 landing – the best wind legal mark of the day. Part of a historic long jump competition which boasted six jumpers over 27-3, Lawson garnered individual recognition with the best all-dates mark by a collegian since 1994.
Confident that his performance would hold for a spot on Team USA, Lawson passed on his final two attempts to focus on the 100 final.
He finished the day as one of three jumpers to make the U.S. long jump team with a second-place finish. Lawson also closed out the night as the seventh-best performer in the 100 coming through the line in 10.07.
Assistant Coach Travis Geopfert on Jarrion Lawson’s Performance
“Jarrion [Lawson] is special. There aren’t words that can describe him either on or off the track. He’s one of the best in the world and remains humble and focused all the time. Jumping a world lead while making the final in the 100 literally back-to-back could arguably be one of the most athletic feats we’ve seen since Carl Lewis. He’s one of the best and has now proven that he’s truly world class. He had a stage and he did it. Flat out, got it done.”
Geopfert on having two jumpers qualify for the Olympics
“To have two Olympians in the jumps in a matter of days is indescribable, in addition to all of the other Razorbacks we have rolling in other events. I think it’s a testament to our overall program, support staff and tremendous support we have for track and field at Arkansas. Clive [Pullen] and Jarrion [Lawson] along with all of our other guys are a joy to work with in every way. They deserve every compliment and accolade they get. To have the opportunity to coach such tremendous young men is truly a blessing and something we don’t take for granted. As a staff we are going to cherish this week for a long time.”
Sunday, July 3 Olympic Trials Results
100 meter semis
Jarrion Lawson (6) – 10.01
Tyson Gay (8) – 10.01
Kenzo Cotton (14) – 10.12
100 meter finals
Tyson Gay (5) – 10.03
Jarrion Lawson (7) – 10.07
200 meter finals^
Veronica Campbell-Brown (2) – 22.80
400 meter finals
Taylor Ellis-Watson (4) – 50.25
Long jump finals
Jarrion Lawson (2) – 8.58m/28-1 3/4
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
6:03 p.m. – W Steeplechase (1st round) | Devin Clark, Jessica Kamilos
6:33 p.m. – M Steeplechase (1st round) | Stanley Kebenei
7:42 p.m. – W 800 (Finals) | Chrishuna Williams
^ – denotes Jamaican Trials
* – requires qualification
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