DARTMOUTH, Mass. - University of Massachusetts Dartmouth senior Jared Louf-Woods (Salem, Mass.) added another item to his trophy case, as the Track & Field standout was named New England Region Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The two selections for the region for the field came from the Little East Conference as UMass Boston sophomore Wadeline Jonathans (Gonaives, Haiti) was bestowed the honor on the women's side.
The announcement of the awards came on Wednesday as track and field athletes from across the country prepared for their trip to the Div. III Indoor Track and Field National Championship, which take place March 9th and 10th in Birmingham, Ala. and will feature 10 Little East Conference athletes in all, with Louf-Woods and Jonathans headlining the participants from New England.
Louf-Woods has been among the national leaders throughout the indoor season, earning the top-ranking in Division III in the weight throw on Jan. 13 when he re-broke his own Corsair record to win the meet at 18.83m (61-9.5 ft.). Shortly after, the Salem, Mass. product regained possession of the No. 1 ranking at the Open New England Championships on Feb. 3rd when he again set the school standard in the event with a throw of 19.12m (62-8.7 ft.). The senior's final qualifying mark in the weight throw came at the LEC/New England Alliance Championships where he broke the joint-meet record, along with the school record for the third time in the year. He stood atop the podium after recording a toss at 19.29m (63-03 ft.) to give him his current placement in the Div. III Indoor National Championships.
The trip to Nationals for the shot put was not as guaranteed for Louf-Woods as it was in the weight throw as improved performances through the season awarded him the 14th ranking. While sitting just inside the top-50 for the event, the Salem-native hit his stride on Jan. 26th & 27th at the Boston University John Thomas Terrier Classic when he hit the 15-meter mark for the first time in the indoor season with a distance of 15.22m (49-11 ft.). Since then, he shattered his previous season-best with throws of 15.51m (50-11 ft.) at the Open New England Championship, before breaking the meet and school record at the LEC/New England Alliance Championship when he launched the shot 16.23m (53-3 ft.) to give him his current career-best. The trip marks the second time overall that Louf-Woods will compete at the National Championship, doing so during the 2016-17 outdoor season. He is joined at the National event by teammate and sophomore George Papoulis (Haverhill, Mass.) who makes his second-straight appearance in the Indoor Track & Field Championships in the 800-meter run.
Both UMass Dartmouth athletes will be in competition on the first day of Nationals. Louf-Woods competes in the weight throw prelims and finals Friday afternoon at 12:00 pm eastern time (11:00 am central) before he switches events to the shot put prelims and finals on Saturday at 12:00 pm eastern time (11:00 am central). Papoulis will race in the 800-meter prelims at 4:45 eastern time (3:45 central), and if he finishes in the top-eight from the prelims, he will race in the finals on Saturday at the same time.
You can stream the National Championship on March 9th and 10th here: https://t.co/XKFnN1YOas