Lawson secures place on Team USA

Shawn Price

SPOKANE, Washington – Arkansas alum Jarrion Lawson moved from fourth to first place during the final round of the long jump during the USATF Indoor Championships to secure a place on Team USA for the upcoming World Indoor Championships.

A total of four athletes with ties to Arkansas qualified for the World Athletes Indoor Championships, which will be held March 11-13 in Belgrade, Serbia. The top two finishers in each event with the World Indoor qualifying standard are eligible to make Team USA.

The overall result was three event champions and one runner-up with Sandi Morris claiming the pole vault while Ryan Crouser established a world-leading mark to win the shot put. Darryl Sullivan, who trains at UA, placed second in the high jump.

Lawson was stationed in fourth place among the three marks he produced in the first five rounds, with his best mark at that point measuring 25-9.5 (7.86). Then he bounded out to 26-10.5 (8.19) in round six to surpass Marquis Dendy (26-8.5 | 8.14) and JuVaughn Harrison (26-5 | 8.05) for the surprise victory.

Morris cleared 15-9 (4.80) to defeat Olympic champion Katie Nageotte (15-7) for the pole vault title. Nageotte was clean with first attempt clearances at six bars through the 15-7 height. Then she missed twice at 15-9 while Morris passed that height.

After the pair of misses at 15-9 , Nageotte passed to 15-11 and missed her only attempt at that height. With the victory secured, Morris attempted 16-0 (4.88) and had three misses.

In the last World Indoor Championships held in 2018, Morris established a meet record of 16-2.75 (4.95) in Birmingham, England. 

Crouser set the USATF meet record of 74-1.75 (22.60) in 2020, the last year the USATF Indoor meet was held. He threatened that mark with a fourth-round heave of 73-10.25 (22.51), the current world leader for 2022. Runner-up Josh Awotunde had a career best of 71-4 (21.74).

Other finalists included UA alum Marqueze Washington placing third in the 400m with a time of 46.15, just 0.01 behind runner-up Donavan Brazier (46.14). Christina Clemons, who trains at UA, produced a season best of 7.92 for third in the 60m hurdles behind a 7.82 for Gabbi Cunningham and 7.91 by Alaysha Johnson.

Washington may be included in the 4×400 relay pool. Back in 2018 he earned a silver medal after running in the 4×400 prelims at the World Indoors.

Sullivan’s place in the high jump was determined by fewer misses at the deciding height of 7-4.5 (2.25). Sullivan cleared on his second attempt while Darius Carbin needed three attempts. JuVaughn Harrison won the event with a 7-5.75 (2.28).

Additional Razorback alums included Kiara Parker finishing fifth in the 60m at 7.20, Nikki Hiltz clocking 4:10.87 for sixth in the 1,500m, and Erich Sullins hitting a mark of 74-6 (22.72) to place eighth in the weight throw.

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