FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A pair of University of Arkansas national champions Katherine Grable (Gymnastics; Vault & Floor) and Jarrion Lawson (Track & Field; Long Jump) have been announced as two of the 10 finalists for the Arkansas Star of Tomorrow Award, presented by the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and the Crain Automotive Team.
The Crain Automotive Team Star of Tomorrow Award honors the top collegiate athlete in the state of Arkansas. This is the only award that recognizes student-athletes from across the state based on their achievements on the field of play, contributions in the community and academics. The winner is chosen by members of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, the general public, and local media.
Grable captured two titles on the final day of the 2014 NCAA women’s gymnastics championships, to become the first national champion in program history. She won the floor exercise championship and shared the vault title with LSU’s Rheagan Courville after qualifying as an individual.
She started out with the vault as the second competitor and went out and stuck a career-best mark of 9.975 to win the program’s first National Championship. Her score on the vault was the highest winning score in NCAA history as she recorded three perfect 10.0s and three scores of 9.95. In the floor competition, Grable performed her routine to the tune of a 9.962 as two scores of a perfect 10.0 flashed on the scoreboard. The Oshkosh, Wisc. native collected five scores of perfect 10.0’s in the last meet of her career at the NCAA Event Finals.
The 2014 track and field season is one that three-time All-American Jarrion Lawson will never forget. The Texarkana, Texas native earned a pair of All-SEC second team nods and a trio of first team All-American selections from the United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association, to go with his first Individual National Championship.
At the NCAA Indoor National Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., Lawson took down 15 of the top long jumpers in the country on his way to being crowned the National Long Jump Champion. After edging his way into the finals, Lawson took full advantage of the sixth and final round, dominating the field with a world-leading 27ft 6.5in jump, a huge final leap that took him a foot further than his competitors, to take home the NCAA Title. With his mark, Lawson ranks No. 4 all-time in NCAA history and No. 7 in all-time U.S. history. Lawson’s jump just missed the NCAA Championship meet record of 27ft 10.25in set by the legendary Carl Lewis in 1981.
Grable and Lawson need your help in winning this award – visit www.arstaroftomorrow.com to vote! The Star of Tomorrow Award will be presented at the official Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Banquet in Little Rock on Friday, February 27.
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