Olympic Hopefuls & Coaches with Arkansas Ties

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We are now just 100 days away from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the Arkansas should be well represented in Japan. Team USA is holding Olympic qualifying events throughout the summer.

Here are a few former Razorback athletes we are watching to see if they can punch their tickets to Tokyo, as well as a coach who is ready to bring a medal to Australia.

Sandi Morris – Pole Vault

Morris is looking to qualify for her second straight Olympic Games. Morris, one of the most talented pole vaulters in the world, winning a silver medal in the Rio Olympics in 2016 by clearing 4.85-meters. A 2018 World Champion and a 2015 graduate of Arkansas, Morris is looking to finally capture gold in Tokyo.

Jarrion Lawson – Long Jump

Lawson competed in the 2016 Olympics in the long jump, where he finished right outside of the podium in fourth-place with a leap of 8.25-meters. A year later, Lawson won a silver medal at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London. Most recently, Lawson won an appeal for a failed doping test that he maintained was from eating contaminated meat. The two-time NCAA Champion for the Razorbacks has been cleared from facing a possible four-year suspension and looks to reach the podium this summer.

Omar McLeod – Hurdles

One of the most talented athletes in Arkansas track history, McLeod won four NCAA titles at Arkansas in just two years before turning professional. He went on to win a gold medal for Jamaica in the 110-meter hurdles in the 2016 Rio Olympics. He also took gold in the same event at the 2017 World Championships. McLeod looks to be a favorite to repeat in the hurdles in Tokyo.

Clive Pullen – Triple Jump

Like McLeod, Pullen represented his native Jamaica in the 2016 Olympics, competing in the triple jump. He finished 33rd in the event. Pullen’s most recent result came when he finished 5th in the triple jump at the Pan American Games in Lima. He is currently a volunteer assistant for the track and field team at the University of Tennessee.

Dominique Scott-Efurd – Distance

Dominique Scott-Efurd is a five-time NCAA Champion, ten-time SEC Champion and eight-time All-American in both cross country and track and field at Arkansas. She competed in Rio in the 10,000-meter race for South Africa, where she finished 21st with a time of 31:51.47. Scott-Efurd announced she would not be competing in the South African National Road Race Championships over the weekend, but it will have no standing on her ability to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

Payton Chadwick – Hurdles

A native of Springdale, Arkansas, Payton Chadwick is looking to earn a spot on her first-ever Olympic team. Chadwick won an NCAA championship in 60-meter hurdles in 2018. According to a post on Chadwick’s Instagram page, she revealed she has only been back on the track training for six weeks and is slowly returning to full strength for the Olympic qualifiers in June.

David Patrick – Assistant men’s basketball coach

Current Arkansas men’s basketball associate head coach, David Patrick, has been named an assistant men’s basketball coach for Australia for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. He has been a with the Australian National Team since 2019 and helped coach them to a fourth-place finish at the 2019 FIBA World Championships, as well as a historic win over Team USA. Patrick was born in Bermuda, but grew up in Australia. He attended the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney as a spectator, but now will get a front row seat as a member of Team Australia.

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