(KSLA) - The Northwestern State community is mourning the death of a standout hurdler.
Daeshon Gordon died suddenly Sunday morning, NSU officials confirmed that evening.
The 22-year-old education major aspired to be an elementary schoolteacher and was pursuing a degree at the Natchitoches-based university, a news release states.
Gordon was a two-time All-America hurdler at LSU when she transferred to Northwestern State then starred for the Lady Demons in the past two seasons.
The four-time Southland Conference hurdles champion also ran on a Southland champion 4x100 meter relay team as a senior.
She earned two honorable mention All-America honors - in the 100 meter hurdles and in the 4x100 meter relay - at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June.
It was the first time the Lady Demons qualified a relay team for the national meet, which includes the top 24 performers in each event from throughout the country.
It also marked Gordon’s final competition for NSU.
“Our hearts go out to Daeshon’s family, and to our track and field family, at this extremely difficult time,” Greg Burke, NSU’s athletics director, says in a statement released by the school. “There are no words to express the feelings that so many have when a young life ends abruptly and much before its time.”
Burke said Gordon will be remembered as a fierce competitor and a great teammate.
“I cherished the connection that she and I had that grew even stronger after she completed her eligibility in June and told me she was determined to be the first female member of her family to earn a college degree.”
Also among her achievements, Gordon:
- set the Lady Demons' school record in the 100 hurdles with a 13.04 time in the NCAA semifinals,
- broke the school's 60 meter hurdles record indoors and a Southland Conference record in February, clocking 8.15,
- swept the 60 hurdles titles at the Southland championships in her two seasons at NSU, and,
- had the seven fastest times in the event in school history.
She was runner-up for high point scorer at the Southland Conference outdoor championships in May, scoring 22.5 points by sweeping the 100 and 400 hurdles titles and running the lead leg on the winning 4x100 relay team.
Gordon’s winning 58.83 mark in the 400 hurdles at the Southland Outdoors was the second-fastest time in school history.
She also was a bronze medalist for her native Jamaica in the 100-meter hurdles in the Pam Am Junior Games in 2015 and was training to challenge for a place on her country’s 2020 Olympics team.
And in 2014, Gordon was the top-ranked prep hurdler in Florida, where she lived with her family in Pompano Beach.