Olympic training ground found in unlikely place

Going for the Gold 2016

There’s a school which has produced 48 Olympians from 11 countries, winning six medals all in track and field.

These accomplishments are developed on the unlikely Olympic training ground of the University of Arkansas.

Lance Harter, the women’s track coach, has been to the Olympic games six times and was a USA team coach in 1992.

“This is a unique and very special place,” Harter said with pride.

Tucked away in the hills of the Ozark Mountains, you’ll find Fayetteville, Arkansas. It’s a unique little city with plenty of culture, music and pigs where University of Arkansas Razorbacks call home.

“They have a history of winning national championships and that was one of the things that caught my eyes,” hurdler Omar McLeod said.

Along with a plethora of titles, many athletes come running to northwest Arkansas– and not just any athletes –some of the best in the world refine their skills in Fayetteville.

“The prestige that our team carries is amazing, we have the best coaches that you can ever ask for, the most amazing facilities,” pole vaulter Sandi Morris proudly boasted.

From championships to gold medals, several hogs hope to win big, including former UA student athlete McLeod who’s always envisioned becoming an Olympian.

“I remember wanted to be in the Olympics ever since I was a kid,” Omar McLeod said.

He’s one of the best hurdlers in the world, and his home country of Jamaica, Arkansas is a household name.

“Back home, Arkansas, Florida, Texas A&M, is pretty much the schools that stand out mostly,” McLeod said.

He used Fayetteville as a launching pad to a pro career and hopeful spot on the Jamaican Olympic team.

“I fell in love with Arkansas, and Arkansas fell in love with me,” McLeod said.

McLeod and Morris both still train at UA.

“I workout with them everyday, and you know it keeps me grounded,” said McLeod.

Both Arkansas outdoor track and field teams started the 2016 season ranked in the top five.

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