Daeshon Gordon, who was completing studies for her undergraduate degree at Northwestern State after finishing a remarkable collegiate track and field career this spring, passed away suddenly Sunday morning, NSU officials confirmed.
Gordon was a two-time All-America hurdler at LSU who transferred to Northwestern State and starred for the Lady Demons in the last two seasons. The 22-year-old education major, a native of Jamaica who lived with her family in Pompano Beach, Florida, was a four-time Southland Conference hurdles champion who also ran on a Southland champion 4×100 meter relay team as a senior.
She earned two honorable mention All-America honors in June at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, in the 100 meter hurdles and in the 4×100 meter relay, in her final competition for NSU. 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 around the country.
“Our hearts go out to Daeshon’s family, and to our track and field family, at this extremely difficult time,” said Greg Burke, NSU’s director of athletics. “There are no words to express the feelings that so many have when a young life ends abruptly and much before its time.
“Daeshon was 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. I ask that the NSU Demon family keep Daeshon’s family and our track and field program in their thoughts and prayers.”
Gordon set the Lady Demons’ school record in the 100 hurdles with a 13.04 time in the NCAA semifinals. She broke the school 60 meter hurdles record indoors in February, clocking 8.15, also a Southland Conference record. She 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 honors 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 4×100 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 was part of a school-record 4×200 relay team in 2017 (1:35.70 at the Texas Relays), while helping the 2018 Lady Demons post the second-best 4×100 relay mark (44.74) at the NCAA East Preliminary Round to punch their ticket to the national meet. Gordon also rank on 4×400 relay combinations that ranked fourth (3:38.82) and fifth (3:39.16) all-time at NSU.
Gordon was the 2017 Southland Conference Indoor Women’s Newcomer of the Year.
At LSU, she earned a pair of All-America awards as a freshman in 2015 in the 100 meter hurdles and in 2016 indoors in the 60 meter hurdles. Her 8.04 mark as a sophomore in the 60 hurdles ranks seventh in LSU history and her 57.24 in the 400 hurdles in her freshman season was 10th on the Tigers’ all-time list.
Gordon was a bronze medalist for Jamaica in the 2015 Pam Am Junior Games in the 100 meter hurdles, and was training to challenge for a place on her native country’s 2020 Olympic team. She was the top-ranked prep hurdler in Florida in 2014.
She aspired to be an elementary school teacher. She is survived by her parents, Miranda and Deron Gordon of Pompano Beach.