BOILING SPRINGS – The Gardner-Webb University athletics department mourns the loss of Men's Track & Field student-athlete Jalin Lawson, who lost his life in an automobile accident Sunday in Georgia.
Lawson, a sophomore from Fort Gaines, Ga., and a graduate of Eufala (Ala.) High, was 19 years old.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Jalin's family and friends, as well as his teammates," said head coach Brian Baker. "He was a tremendously gifted athlete and did things the right way. His future was extremely bright. I wish more student-athletes lived the way he did. He was loved by all who knew him."
"Jalin was truly a special guy with so many aspirations and talents," said assistant coach Evan Brusich. "I've said many times that I wish I had 10 more like him. His enthusiasm was contagious and his character was outstanding. This is a young man who had such a bright future. We will miss Jalin very, very much."
"The loss of a young life is tragic and heartbreaking in many ways. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jalin's family," said Vice President for Athletics Chuck Burch. "His impact on the track & field program went beyond his contributions athletically. He will be missed by many."
Lawson improved steadily early in his career, emerging as a bonafide contender at this past week's Big South Conference Championships in Charleston, S.C.
He broke the Gardner-Webb school mark in the triple jump, earning All-Big South honors with a leap of 15.51 meters to finish second. That distance qualified Lawson for the upcoming NCAA Division I East Preliminary Championships on May 26.
Lawson nearly clipped the school-record in the 100m dash, running a personal-best time of 10.66 seconds to earn All-Big South honors in that event as well with a second-place finish. He also set a new PR in the long jump at the conference championships, taking third to earn All-Big South Conference honors with a distance of 7.21 meters.
Lawson was pursuing a major in criminal justice and had shown a keen interest in counter-terrorism. He had recently secured an internship in that area of study and hoped for a career as a federal agent upon graduation.