Former Razorback long jumper & sprinter Jarrion Lawson says he understands that he’s entering a higher level of competition at the US Olympic Track and Field Trials beginning July 1st in Eugene, Oregon. It was on the same track that Lawson set the modern record for points scored in the NCAA Championship Outdoor Meet. A national champion in the long jump, the 100 and 200 meters, Lawson became the first athlete in 80 years to win three events at that annual event.
At the US Trials in Eugene Lawson will be going head to head with seasoned professionals, athletes he did not face in his final meet as a collegian. Still, Lawson insists that he’s got a good chance to make the US team in Rio based on what he did in his final NCAA Outdoor Meet.
“A lot of people have been telling me that I could have run in the 19’s if I finished through the line,” (in the 200 meters) Lawson told reporters. “Coach told me if they convert that time in the 100 to even a 2.0 wind, that’s 9.85. So I’m feeling real confident. The coaches feel confident in me which is even better. I do realize that it is a different level as a professional but I think I’m ready for it.”
Lawson wasted little time in beginning to prepare for his first event as a professional.
“I felt re-energized when I got back,” Lawson revealed. “We’ve hit the ground running. We started practice on Monday. Deep into the week I’ve even got a hard sprinting day tomorrow.” (Saturday)
Lawson is not sure which event he’ll have his best shot at getting to the Olympics, explaining, “I’m expected to be higher in the long jump but right now I have a great chance in the 200 as well. The 100, we had a bad headwind up there in Oregon so we’ll just have to get back up there again to see how fast I can run the 100.”
Lawson has hired an agent but he hasn’t yet signed a pro contract. “Everything is getting processed,” he explained. “It’s going to happen soon.”