PAWTUCKET, R.I. – Senior Jared Louf-Woods (Salem, Mass.) completed a sweep of the Little East Conference Field Athlete of the Year award, as he was named the recipient of 2018 Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year recognition following a dominate five-week run with the no. 8 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's track and field team. The major conference recognition comes just three months from his last when he was named the LEC Field Athlete of the Year to conclude the 2017-18 indoor season.
Louf-Woods' spectacular season continued the benchmark he set during the indoor season. Weeks after securing All-American status in the weight throw with his fourth-place finish at the 2018 Indoor National Track & Field Championship, the senior bulldozed through the outdoor slate, bookending the season-schedule with school records while leading the conference with four weekly-award selections. At the end of the regular-season, the senior earned nine top-three finishes in five meets, finishing atop the podium three times each for the shot put and the hammer throw.
On March 31, the team kicked off the outdoor schedule at Bryant University's Black & Gold Invitational, and Louf-Woods made his presence felt in the event comprised mostly of Div. I & II student-athletes. He finished in second place in each of his throwing events, and most notably set the program-standard for the weight throw when he unleashed a distance of 62.45m (204-11 ft.) to eclipse Stephan Baptista's mark set in 1987 by over 10 feet. With that toss, Louf-Woods logged the top-ranked hammer throw in Div. III which has still yet to be reached, as he holds more than a three feet lead on the next closest competitor on the list.
That performance sparked a string of three consecutive LEC Field Athlete of the Week nominations spanning from April 2 – 16. On April 28, he earned the award for the conference's leading fourth time following his performance at the LEC/New England Alliance Championship where he earned LEC and New England Alliance championships in the shot put and the hammer throw. In the shot put, he capped his season in the same fashion it began, setting a new outdoor-record for the school when he surpassed 2012 alum Robert Yarbough with his throw of 16.8m (55-2 ft.) while moving him up to fifth nationally for the event in Div. III.
In his time with the Blue & Gold, Louf-Woods has won nine LEC Championships combined during his indoor and outdoor career. He was named the New England Field Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) at the conclusion of the indoor season. On March 10, he competed at the 2018 Div. III Indoor National Championships where he competed in both the shot put and the weight throw, marking the second time he made the trip to the Track and Field National Championships after doing so in the outdoor season in 2017. He is currently in pole-position of making his third consecutive appearance at the National Championship, as he is within the top-20 needed to qualify for the 2018 Div. III Outdoor National Championship at the SPIRE Institute in La Crosse, Wisc. on May 24.
Louf-Woods was not the only one recognized for the stellar season put forth by the UMass Dartmouth track and field teams. The Corsairs coaches, comprised of Steve Gardiner, Shay Austin-Leary, Hal Miller, and Ed Acaro made up the unit that steered the team to its highest national ranking in program history to earn the 2018 LEC Coaching Staff of the Year award.
The award was more than justified as the Corsairs men's track and field team put together one of the most impressive outdoor seasons in school history. Some of the strongest performances of the year came at the backend as the team posted third and fourth place finishes at the New England Div. III Championship and the Open New England Championship respectively, marking the highest finishes at each of the two events in program history. This season, the Corsairs not only reached a program-highest ranking of eighth in Div. III according to the USTFCCA but have re-written the school record books on six different occasions while currently having six student-athletes in contention to earn a trip to the NCAA Div. III Outdoor National Championship.