University mourns loss of beloved student athlete


Daeshon Gordon, a senior at Northwestern State University, died suddenly Sunday morning of currently unknown causes.

A Jamaica native, Gordon, 22, was a Communications major and hurdler on the track and field team. She long aspired to be an elementary school teacher.

She was “one of the sweetest souls I think I’ve met here at Northwestern,” junior Collin Milton said. “She had the best intentions for everyone that she was around.”

A vigil in her honor will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Walter P. Ledet Track Complex and is open to all.

“We’ll be doing a candlelight, walking a lap around the track, setting up hurdles and wrapping a ribbon around each one,” said Adam Pennington, associate head track and field coach. “We’re going to honor her and give her what she deserves.”

Pennington recruited Gordon out of LSU, where she first attended college and was a two-time All-America hurdler. Over two seasons, Gordon’s NSU honors include numerous achievements in hurdles and relay racing including school records in the 100- and 60-meter hurdles.

“We were really close,” said senior and fellow hurdler Jamaria Smith. “I met her when she first came here from LSU. Since then she’s been my girl.”

Gordan “was supposed to be out here training us this season, so that hurts a lot,” Smith said.

She was “a phenomenal young lady,” said NSU President Chris Maggio. “She represented the university at the highest levels as a student athlete. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family during this tragic time, as well as the Northwestern track and field family.”

Pennington had a particularly close bond with Gordon and praised her work ethic.

“She wasn’t only a great athlete for us but a great leader and a good student,” Pennington said. “She took on a lot of roles that I don’t think she had to take on.”

Milton recounted a video he saw of Gordon from her high school days when she was trying to get recruited by various colleges. A woman had asked her how she wanted to be remembered when people talked about her.

Daeshon answered, “I want people to say ‘That girl could run.’”

“And yeah,” Milton said. “That girl could run.”

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