Jarrion Lawson secures spot on USA team for World Indoor Championship

Arkansas alum Jarrion Lawson jumped from fourth to first in the final round of the long jump at the USATF Indoor Championships to secure a spot on Team USA for the next few world indoor championships.

A total of four athletes with Arkansas ties have qualified for the World Indoor Athletes Championships, to 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 set a world-leading mark for winning the shot put. Darryl Sullivan, who trains at UA, placed second in the high jump.

Lawson was fourth among the three marks he produced in the first five rounds, his best mark at that time measuring 25-9.5 (7.86). Then he jumped to 26-10.5 (8.19) in round six to pass Marquis Dendy (26-8.5 | 8.14) and JuVaughn Harrison (26-5 | 8.05) for the upset victory.

Morris cleared 15-9 (4.80) to defeat Olympic champion Katie Nageotte (15-7) for the pole vault title. Nageotte was clean with six-bar first-attempt permissions through the pitch 15-7. Then she missed twice at 15-9 as Morris went over that height.

After the pair of misfires at 15-9, Nageotte moved to 15-11 and missed her only attempt at that height. With victory secured, Morris went 16-0 (4.88) and missed three times.

At the last World Indoor Championships held in 2018, Morris set 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 71-4 (21.74) .

Other finalists included former UA Marqueze Washington who placed 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 7.92 for third place in the 60m hurdles behind a 7.82 for Gabbi Cunningham and 7.91 for Alaysha Johnson.

Washington can be included in the 4×400 relay pool. In 2018 he won a silver medal after competing in the 4×400 preliminaries at the World Indoors.

Sullivan’s spot in the high jump was determined by fewer misses at the decisive 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 score of 7-5.75 (2.28).

Other Razorback alumni included Kiara Parker finishing fifth in the 60m at 7.20, Nikki Hiltz with a time of 4:10.87 for sixth place in the 1,500m and Erich Sullins hitting a mark of 74-6 (22 .72) to place eighth in the shot put.