FAYETTEVILLE, Ark – Following a historic sophomore year, Arkansas hurdler Omar McLeod has signed a contract with Nike and is set to represent the brand for the first time at the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest on July 7.
The Bowerman semifinalist announced his decision to compete at the professional level one day prior to his last race wearing his Razorback uniform at the 2015 Jamaican National Championships. He will return to the University of Arkansas as just a student to complete his bachelors in business management.
“I did a lot of praying and was getting nothing but a green light that this is your (my) moment,” McLeod said about his resolve to go pro.
Presented with that option out of high school, the Kingston, Jamaica native didn’t feel fully developed mentally or physically to pursue spotlight on a higher level and selected the University of Arkansas as the place to grow and nurture his abilities.
In his first year as a Razorback, McLeod wasted no time making a name for himself running 7.58 to claim the 60-meter hurdle national title at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships. Entering outdoor season with the same determination, McLeod finished in second place in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2014 SEC Outdoor Championships in a time of 13.57. He improved on that time at the 2014 NCAA West preliminary round where he ran 13.44 to qualify for outdoor nationals.
McLeod earned honorable mention recognition in the 110-meter hurdles and 4×100-meter relay to complete his freshman year.
Named the 2015 SEC Indoor Runner of the Year and South Central Track Athlete of the Year, the Razorback standout defended his 60-meter hurdle national title in a collegiate record time of 7.45.
A 2015 five-time All-American, McLeod capped his undefeated season with two national title wins in the 110-meter hurdles and 4×100-meter relay.
In his most recent competition, McLeod finished in front of 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Hansle Parchment to win the Jamaican national title in the 110-meter hurdles running 12.97 to set new NCAA all-dates all-time best record. He will compete for Jamaica at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China in late August.
“A lot of credit goes to my coaches, trainers, teammates and especially my weights coach who played a huge role in my development,” said McLeod. “They were the reason I got to this level and I couldn’t be happier than the day I decided to be a Razorback.”
McLeod holds the second fastest time in the 110-meter hurdles in the world this year.
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