FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – One week before the start of the national meet, sophomore Omar McLeod is mentioned as part of the pre-NCAA Bowerman Watch List as released Wednesday afternoon. McLeod has now appeared on six-consecutive Bowerman Watch List, dating back to the March 4 release following his title at the SEC Indoor Championships. He enters next week’s NCAA Outdoor Championships as the national leader and world No. 7 in the 110-meter hurdles.
Following the NCAA Championships, the 10 semifinalists for the Bowerman will be announced June 22 by the Watch List Committee. A follow-up vote will then be held to narrow the field down to three finalists who will be announced in July.
McLeod is one of 10 national qualifiers for the No. 5 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team that concludes the season June 10-13 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. All four days of the national meet are televised by the ESPN family of networks. In a format change, the men’s competition will be contested Wednesday and Friday while the women will compete Thursday and Saturday. The combined events are scheduled for day one and two of the meet.
In his last outing at the NCAA West Preliminary, McLeod posted qualifying efforts in the 110-meter hurdles and with relay teammates Kenzo Cotton, Jarrion Lawson and Marqueze Washington in the 4×100- and 4×400-meter events. He posted a time of 13.22 to secure his trip to Eugene with a tie for the 10th-fastest mark in NCAA history. McLeod was also part of the Razorbacks’ school-record and NCAA-leading time of 38.66 in the 4×100-meter relay and season-best 3:04.06 in the 4×400-meter relay. Both relay teams also qualified for the NCAA meet.
McLeod remained undefeated in a hurdles race this season—indoor or outdoor—with this qualifying performances at the NCAA West Preliminary in Austin. He opened his postseason campaign by winning the 110-meter hurdles title in 13.28 at the SEC Championships. With his win, McLeod became Arkansas’ fourth SEC champion in the event and the second in program history to sweep the SEC indoor and outdoor hurdle titles.
McLeod opened his outdoor season at the 106th Drake Relays where he broke the meet and school record with his nation-leading time of 13.21 to also equal the fifth-fastest performance in NCAA history. He also won Drake Relays titles with Cotton, Lawson and Washington in the 4×100- and 4×200-meter relays. For his performance, McLeod was the co-recipient of the Maury White Award as the meet’s Most Outstanding Performer.
During the indoor season, McLeod successfully defended his NCAA title in the 60-meter hurdles with a collegiate-record performances of 7.45 in front of the home crowd at the Randal Tyson Track Center. McLeod earned his first appearance on the Bowerman Watch List after winning the SEC indoor title in 7.49 to break the meet and school records. He also ran a leg of Arkansas’ indoor All-American 4×400-meter relay team.
The Kingston, Jamaica, native is the sixth Razorback to appear on the Bowerman Watch List, and one of three from the current roster along with teammates Andrew Irwin (2013) and Lawson (2014). With McLeod’s appearance, Arkansas has now been represented 19 times on the Watch List.
The Bowerman award, which debuted in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the standout male and female collegiate track and field athletes in the nation. In total, the winners from the award’s first five years have gone on to win three Olympic medals, two World Championship titles and six World Championship medals overall.
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