Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and a voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year twice.
UA sophomore Brown will turn pro
Arkansas' Janeek Brown clears a hurdle Saturday, April 27, 2019, while competing in the 100-meter shuttle hurdles during the National Relay Championships at John McDonnell Field on the campus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Janeek Brown, the NCAA 100-meter hurdles champion for the University of Arkansas this year as a sophomore, posted on her Twitter account Wednesday night that she is turning professional.
Brown didn’t name a specific shoe and apparel company that she’ll represent.
Razorbacks Coach Lance Harter said Brown is still weighing multiple offers and that as far as he knows she hasn’t signed a contract, but that he expects her to do so.
By signing to compete professinall , Brown will forfeit her final two seasons of eligibility at Arkansas.
“Janeek and I talked [Wednesday] and she has not signed yet, but her mom agreed that she should turn pro,” Harter said. “So Janeek said, ‘I’m going to go ahead and announce it. Then I’ll pick which [company] I’m going to go with.’ But she’s definitely turning pro.”
Harter said Brown will continue to attend Arkansas to complete her degree and train with UA assistant coach Chris Johnson.
Brown is one of three women’s finalists for The Bowerman, which in December will be presented to the top male and female NCAA track and field athletes for 2019. Sha'Carri Richardson, a freshman national champion at LSU and fellow Bowerman finalist, has also announced she will turn pro.
At the NCAA Outdoor Championships earlier this month, Brown helped Arkansas win the team title, 64-57 over Southern California, by scoring 16 1/2 points. She broke her school record again by winning the 100 hurdles in 12.40 — the second-fastest collegiate time ever behind Clemson’s Brianna McNeal, who ran 12.39 in 2013 — and took fourth in the 200 (22.40) and ran on the third-place 400 relay.
Harter said he expects Brown to represent her native Jamaica at the World Championships later this summer.
“She’s got a very bright future and I don’t think it just includes the 2020 Olympics,” Harter said. “As young as she is, I think 2024 and 2028 are also very realistic.”
In Brown’s Twitter post she thanked her Arkansas teammates and coaches and wrote she was blessed to be a Razorback.
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