KINGSTON, Jamaica – The University of Arkansas men’s track and field team produced a second Jamaican National Champion on Saturday evening. Omar McLeod finished first in the 110-meter hurdles in a world leading time of 12.97 breaking USATF Hall of Famer, Renaldo Nehemiah’s NCAA all-dates all-time best record of 13.00 set in 1979. He advance on to represent Jamaica at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China this August.
Nehemiah who is considered one of the greatest hurdlers of all time has held the record for more than three decades. Prior to McLeod’s recent efforts, current world record-holder, Aries Merritt’s time of 13.12 in 2006 was the best attempt to take over the record.
The Bowerman semifinalist qualified for the competition with the top time in the event. Continuing his momentum off of a two NCAA-title winning performance, McLeod opened up the prelims leading the field in 13.24. Getting an explosive start in the finals, the Arkansas standout capitalized on his early lead to take the victory in a new career best time of 12.97.
“I’m just lost for words. Words can’t explain how honored, humbled and blessed I am to break that record. It’s truly deserving,” McLeod said following his record-breaking national title victory. “I’m just focusing on staying grounded, continuing to train hard; keep God first and everything will take care of itself.”
Compiling multiple awards this season, the Kingston, Jamaica native continues to add accolades to his already historic year. McLeod kicked off the season defending his 60-meter hurdle national title in dramatic fashion, running 7.45 to break the NCAA record. Opening up his outdoor season at the Drake Relays, the Arkansas sophomore dominated the field winning the 110-meter hurdles in an NCAA-leading time of 13.21. Most recently at the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championships, he posted a time of 13.01w becoming the all-conditions world leader, claiming the NCAA crown and completing the national hurdles title sweep.
With his performance at the 2015 Jamaican National Championships, McLeod remains undefeated this year in his signature hurdles event.
2015 Jamaican National Championships | Day 3
110 Meter Hurdles (semifinal)
1. Omar McLeod – 13.24
110 Meter Hurdles (final)
1. Omar McLeod – 12.97*^
^NCAA all-dates all-time best record
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