Day 14: Athletes with AR Ties Competing in Rio

Sandi Morris

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Today could be the day athletes with ties to Arkansas bring home additional medals.

McAlmont’s Jeff Henderson and Fayetteville’s Omar McLeod already have gold. So who’s next?

Here’s a rundown of who to watch and when:

Stacy Lewis, Women’s Golf – Round 3, 5:30 a.m.
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.
Gaby Lopez, Women’s Golf – Round 3, 5:30 a.m.
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.
Isabella Isaksen, Women’s Pentathlon, 10 a.m.
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, Women’s Pentathlon, 10 a.m.
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.
Sandi Morris, Women’s Pole Vault – Final, 6:30 p.m
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.
Tina Sutej, Women’s Pole Vault – Final, 6:30 p.m.
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
Veronica Campbell-Brown – Women’s 4×100 Relay Final, 8:15 p.m.
JAMAICA. (4x100m relay) 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.
Tyson Gay, Men’s 4x100m Relay  Final, 8:35 p.m. (may or may not race)
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.
Jarrion Lawson, Men’s 4x100m Relay Final, 8:35 p.m. (may or may not race)
USA. Former Razorback from Texarkana, Texas. Competed earlier this week in the long jump, finishing fourth. 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.
Regina George, Women’s 4x400m Relay, Round 1, 8:40 p.m.
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.
Taylor Ellis-Watson, Women’s 400m, Round 1, 8:40 p.m.
USA. Former Razorback from 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.
Kyle Clemons, Men’s 4x400m Relay, Round 1 9:10 p.m.
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).

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