FAYETTEVILLE — When Omar McLeod walked out of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport terminal two weeks in the past, his sense of odor advised him he was in acquainted territory.
“Particularly after being in a busy metropolis or abroad, there’s simply nothing like that contemporary, natural, pure scent that Arkansas provides,” McLeod stated. “After I was in a position to odor that once more, it was very emotional.”
McLeod knew he was again the place he was a three-time NCAA champion for the College of Arkansas in two years earlier than turning professional and successful the gold medal within the 110-meter hurdles on the 2016 Olympics for his native Jamaica.
WHAT American Observe League professional meet
WHEN 3:30-5:30 p.m.
WHERE Randal Tyson Observe Middle, Fayetteville
WHO Former and present Razorbacks competing embrace 2016 Olympic gold medalist Omar McLeod (60-meter hurdles), 2016 Olympic silver medalist Sandi Morris (pole vault), Nikki Hiltz (800), Nicholas Hilson (400), Hunter Woodhall (400), Travean Caldwell (400), Lauren Martinez (pole vault), Sparkle McKnight (400 and 800) and LaQuan Nairn (lengthy bounce).
“My coaching companions additionally got here with me they usually stated, ‘That is the place you went to school?’ ” stated McLeod, who now lives in Jacksonville, Fla. “I advised them, ‘Belief me, that is the place I spent among the finest years of my life.’
“They’re all metropolis folks and folks from England and all around the world. They got here to little Arkansas, and I advised them I wouldn’t commerce my time right here for the world. As a result of this place taught me a lot about myself.
“I did numerous rising up right here earlier than going into my professional life. Arkansas was a cornerstone that helped make me who I’m.”
Two weeks in the past on the first American Observe League meet held on the Randal Tyson Observe Middle, McLeod competed within the 60 meters — his first racing competitors since June — and completed fourth in a area of 16 in 6.73 seconds.
“It was a rust-buster, a race to get my season going,” McLeod stated. “It was an opportunity to get in some velocity work, due to all of my coaching had been power. I used to be blissful I used to be in a position to maintain my very own with an ideal group of sprinters.”
McLeod, 26, will probably be again on the venue immediately to compete in his indoor specialty, the 60 hurdles, within the third American Observe League meet.
No followers are allowed due to coronavirus security protocols, however the meet will probably be televised on ESPN from 3:30-5:30 p.m. main into the Tremendous Bowl.
“I’ve to credit score the American Observe League for giving us a chance to come back out right here and really feel some kind of normalcy, and to be in our factor once more,” McLeod stated. “I’m very, very grateful.
“We’re all hoping for the very best, and I’m fairly positive the Olympics will go on and athletes will get a chance once more to showcase themselves.”
McLeod stated he’s able to concentrate on his race after having an emotional return to Arkansas two weeks in the past. He is also absolutely recovered from a stress fracture in his proper foot.
“I can guarantee you that you will note me on the market having enjoyable,” he stated of immediately’s race. “When Omar is blissful and Omar is wholesome, I’m going to run quick.”