Olympic Gold hopeful and Texarkana Native, Jarrion Lawson, competes Friday, August 12 in the Long Jump in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
The Olympics are a much anticipated moment for many around the world, but excitement builds in Texarkana as it is the first time sending an Olympic athlete to compete.
This year he gained fame when he became the first man to win the 100m, 200m and long jump at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championships since Jesse Owens in 1936.
Travis Geophert is the assistant track coach for the University of Arkansas Men’s Track Team and Jarrion Lawson’s personal coach. He is with Lawson this week at the Olympics, and says Jarrion’s training has been “very similar to before, just a little less volume to freshen him up and prepare for the Olympics.”
Geoffrey says, “lots of focus on good posture and executing his plan in competition. He’s a very coachable young man. He wants to be great and does the little things it takes to get him there.”
Jarrion’s parents also traveled to Brazil this week to watch him compete. His mom, Carol Lawson said, “Jarrion is a self-motivator. He likes to win. He will discipline himself to do what he needs to win.”
Geophert agrees Jarrion’s desire to win will help propel him during the competition. He says, “He listens well and executes the plan. It’s refreshing to have such an elite athlete be so humble and coachable. He’s the whole package: hungry, humble, intelligent and a great person to be around. It’s a pleasure coaching such a terrific young man.”
NBC is the television network covering the events and also broadcast coverage live from their web site. Lawson will compete in the First Round on August 12. If he qualifies the finals will be held on August 13.
“We are so very excited to fly to Rio and see our son compete. It is such an awesome experience to see his dream manifest. It brings such joy to our hearts,” Carol Lawson said before leaving Texarkana this past Tuesday. “We thank God for the tremendous opportunity and we thank Texarkana for all of the support.”
His career highlights include being a 6-time NCAA Champion, 19-time All-American, and NCAA indoor all-time career points leader (long jump – 33). This year he was one of three finalist for The Bowman Award (given to the top male collegiate track and field athlete) and one of five nominees for the ESPY for Best Male Collegiate Athlete, making it the first time a collegiate track athlete has been nominate for an ESPY.
Jarrion Lawson is a graduate of Liberty Eylau high school, and a graduate from the University of Arkansas. He currently is in the second year of the University’s Masters in Business and Administration program. Lawson became a professional athlete this past June and has an endorsement deal with ASICS.