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Rio Olympians with Arkansas Ties

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – There are nearly two dozen Olympians competing in the Rio Games with ties to Arkansas.

Most of the athletes going for the gold are former Razorbacks while the others are Arkansas natives.

Here’s the full list in alphabetical order:

  • Kemoy Campbell, 25 (5000m) JAMAICA. Former Razorback. Campbell opened indoor season with an altitude 4:02.59 mile in Flagstaff, Arizona representing New Balance 22 January 2016. He set a personal best and Jamaican indoor record in the men’s 3000 metres representing New Balance at the 2016 Millrose Games in February 2016. Campbell placed fifth in 13:30.09 in 5000 metres in May 2016 at the Hoka One One Mid Distance Classic (Wikipedia).
  • Veronica Campbell-Brown, 34 (200m, 4x100m relay) JAMAICA. Former Razorback. Of Clark’s Town, Jamaica. This is her fifth trip to the Olympics. She competed in the 2000 Sydney Games, the 2004 Athens Olympics, the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics. At the Beijing Games she became only the second woman in Olympic Games history to successfully defend her 200m title. Her total medal haul is three gold, two bronze and two silver. She graduated from the U of A in 2006.
  • Kyle Clemons, 25, (4x400m) USA. NATIVE ARKANSAN born in Jonesboro. He began competing in his first professional season in 2014. Was part of the U.S. team that set a world indoor record in the 4×400-meter. World Championship Experience: Gold – 2014 (4x400m); 2015 (4x400m); 2016 (4x400m)
  • Taylor Ellis-Watson, 23 (4x400m relay) USA. Former Razorback, of Philadelphia. Her 2016 highlights include: Two-time NCAA indoor runner-up (400m, 4x400m) and Two-time first team indoor All-American. She raced to a world-leading time at 400 meters of 52.26 at the Razorback Invitational and ran a new indoor personal best of 22.99 to advance out the 200-meter prelims at the SEC Indoor Championships.
  • Tyson Gay, 33 (4x100m relay) USA. Former Razorback from Lexington, Kentucky. He is a two-time Olympian (2008 Beijing and 2012 London) and 2007 world champion at both 100 and 200 meters. Gay is ranked second all-time behind Jamaica’s Usain Bolt with a time of 9.69 seconds in the 100. Before the Olympic trials, Gay told ESPN what it would mean to make the team. “A hell of a lot. I’m considered the old one of the bunch now. It definitely means a lot to me to still keep up with these young guys here, use some of my veteran skills to my advantage.” The four-time U.S. champion in the 100 meters, Gay was the University of Arkansas’ first 100 meter NCAA champion, setting a school record of 10.06 seconds. In July 2013, Gay admitted to doping after it was announced that he had tested positive for a banned substance in May 2013. In 2014, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced that Gay would be suspended until June 23, 2014, and that all his results from July 15, 2012 until his suspension—including his silver medal in the 4×100 relay from the 2012 Summer Olympics—would be stricken.
  • Regina George, 25 (400m) NIGERIA. Former Razorback. American-born Nigerian-Venezuelan (she has dual citizenship) sprinter who specializes in the 400m. She represented Nigeria at the 2012 Summer Olympics and was the silver medalist at the African Championships in 2012.
  • Jeff Henderson, 27 (Long Jump) USA, NATIVE ARKANSAN from McAlmont. Graduate of Sylvan Hills High School and Stillman College. He has been racking up national and international awards since 2010, when he came in 20th at the IAAF World Indoor Championships. In 2013, he finished second at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. In 2014, he finished first at the Glasgow British Athletics Grand Prix, the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and the IAAF Diamond League New York Adidas Grand Prix.
  • Isabella Isaksen, 22 (Women’s Pentathlon) USA. NATIVE ARKANSAN. Born in Fayetteville. Her last name is pronounced E-Sock-Son. 2013 – World Cup #1 (Palm Springs, CA): 29th place individual women’s final. 2012 – Junior World Championships (Poland), GOLD in women’s relay, GOLD in women’s team event.
  • Margaux Isaksen, 24 (Women’s Pentathlon) USA. NATIVE ARKANSAN. Born in Fayetteville. (sister of above Olympian). Olympic Games (London, England): 4th. First burst onto the national scene in June 2007 when she captured all three U.S. National Championship titles (senior, junior and youth). On June 1, 2008, the 16-year-old qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games when she received an official Olympic invitation from the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) for her ranking on the pentathlon world ranking list for the Olympic qualifying period. Isaksen secured her spot on the U.S. Olympic Team by being ranked second among American women in the UIPM World Cup standings. Grew up on her family’s farm in Arkansas.
  • Christine Kalmer, 29 (Marathon) SOUTH AFRICA. Former Razorback. In the Olympic qualifying period, she had the second fastest marathon time in her home country, clocking at 2:33:43. Olympic competition runs in the family for Kalmer, whose older sister Rene competed in the 2012 London Games and the 2008 Beijing Games.
  • Jarrion Lawson, 22 (Long Jump) USA. Former Razorback. From Texarkana, Texas. In the Olympic trials, he became only the ninth American with a legal jump over 28 feet, going 28-1 ¾ on his fourth attempt to also earn his first trip to the Games and post the longest legal jump of the year. Lawson had a stellar senior year at the U of A. He was the NCAA Indoor Champion (long jump), as well as a Two-time First Team All-American, Second Team All-American.
  • Stacy Lewis, 31 (Women’s Golf) USA. Former Razorback. Native of Toledo, Ohio who started playing golf at the age of 8. and plays on the pro circuit. According to her bio on the LPGA website, Lewis,from the age of 11, wore a back brace 18 hours per day for 7-1/2 years to correct curvature in her spine from scoliosis, removing it only to play golf. She qualified for the women’s pro tour in 2009 on her first attempt. She has won two major championships: the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2011 and the Women’s British Open in 2013. Since turning pro in 2009, her career earnings total more than $11 million.
  • David Lingmerth, 28 (Men’s Golf) SWEDEN. Former Razorback. Swedish professional golfer who plays on the PGA Tour. Lingmerth played college golf at the University of West Florida and the University of Arkansas where he was a two-time All-American.
  • Gabriela “Gaby” Lopez, 22 (Women’s Golf) MEXICO. Former Razorback. Native of Mexico City, Mexico. She is currently ranked 14th by the Golfweek prep rankings. In her career as a Razorback, she won these honors: 2015 Honda Women’s Golf Award Finalist, 2015 NCAA Championship Runner Up, 2014, 2015 First-Team All-American and First-Team All-SEC, 2014 SEC Golfer of the Week. Lopez first took up golf at the age of 4 and played in the 2011  U.S. Women’s Amateur. She turned pro earlier this year. Her career earnings so far total more than $229,000.
  • Sparkle McKnight, 24 (400m hurdles) TRINIDAD and TOBAGO. Former Razorback. She was a reserve member of the Trinidadian 4 × 100 metres relay team at the 2012 Summer Olympics but was not chosen to compete. In May 2016, McKnight won the women’s 400m hurdles in 56.23 seconds at the Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association’s (JAAA) All Comers Meet.
  • Omar McLeod, 22 (110m hurdles) JAMAICA. Former Razorback. He will compete in the 110 meter hurdles. As a Razorback, McLeod was NCAA indoor champion in the 60 metres hurdles in 2014 and 2015 and outdoor champion in the 110 metres hurdles in 2015; he turned professional after the 2015 collegiate season, forgoing his two remaining years of collegiate eligibility. His personal best in the 110 metres hurdles (12.97 seconds) ranks him 15th on the world all-time list. Source: Wikipedia
  • Sandi Morris, 24 (Pole vault) USA. Former Razorback, of Greenville, South Carolina. She is the NCAA Outdoor Pole Vault record holder. In 2015, she was named the SEC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year. She set the NCAA Outdoor Pole Vault record last year with a 15 foot clearance. Before coming to UA, Morris was a three-time All-America performer in the pole vault for the University of North Carolina.
  • Clive Pullen, 21 (Triple jump) JAMAICA. Former Razorback from Kingston, Jamaica. The UA junior won the men’s triple jump with a career best 16.90 meters at the Olympic trials. Jamaica’s The Gleaner newspaper reports that Pullen is the first Jamaican man since 1972 to qualify for the Olympic competition in the triple jump. He is also the 2016 NCAA Indoor champion and 2016 SEC Indoor champion, both in the triple jump and is a four-time All-American.
  • Dominique Scott-Efurd, 24 (10000m) SOUTH AFRICA. Former Razorback from Cape Town, South Africa. As a Razorback, she was the first three-time NCAA Champion in School History (3000m, two-time DMR). Her other college highlights include Seven-time First Team All-American, 2015 NCAA Indoor Runner of the Year 2015 NCAA Outdoor Runner-Up (5000m, 10000m), 2014-15 SEC Triple Crown Runner of the Year, Three-time SEC Indoor Champion (Mile, 3000m – 2015 | 5000m – 2014) and Three-time SEC Outdoor Champion (1500m, 5000m – 2015 | 10000m – 2014). Scott holds six program records (Indoor: mile, 3000m, DMR | Outdoor: 1,500m, 5000m, 10000m)
  • Tina Sutej, 27 (Pole vault) SLOVENIA. Former Razorback. She made her international debut at the 2005 World Youth Championships in Athletics. At UA she enjoyed success in NCAA competition and was the runner-up at the collegiate outdoor championships in 2009. She won at the 2011 NCAA Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championship
  • Michael Tinsley, 32 (400m hurdles) USA, NATIVE ARKANSAN of Little Rock. He attended Joe T. Robinson High School before moving on to college at Jackson State University. He won a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics in the 400 meters hurdles, in a new personal best time of 47.91. Tinsley ran his way into the world rankings for the first time in 2006 when he finished ranked #10 in the world.
  • Alexis “Lexi” Weeks, 19 (Pole vault) USA, NATIVE ARKANSAN of Cabot. Current Razorback. She qualified for the 2016 Rio Games by finishing third in the Olympic trials. In 2015, she set a national high school pole vault record with a height of 14 feet, 7.5 inches. As a UA freshman, Weeks was named the NCAA indoor champion and also became the fifth woman in NCAA history to vault over 15 feet at the Tyson Invitational with a new personal best clearance of 4.60m/15-1 — the youngest to accomplish the feat. In addition to other honors, Weeks was also selected as the SEC Freshman Field Athlete of the Year.
  • Chrishuna Williams, 23 (800m) USA. Former Razorback (graduated in 2015), of Dallas, will compete in the 800 meters. She was a 10-time NCAA Division I All-American for the University of Arkansas and won a national championship as part of the distance medley relay. Williams earned 13 conference honors as a track and field finalist in the Southern Conference. Source: Wikipedia. Career highlight: 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships, 1st (4x400m).

 

From: http://www.arkansasmatters.com/news/local-news/rio-olympians-with-arkansas-ties

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