Former National Champion Jumper LeJuan Simon Dies, 27
Published: October 03, 2008, 12:00 AM (CT)
Updated: October 29, 2009, 03:35 AM (CT)
by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports), LSU Sports Interactive
Simon enjoyed a brilliant two-year career with the Tigers in 2003 and 2004 as he proved to one of the premier jumpers in all of collegiate track and field.
His heroics at the 2004 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships are legendary when he led an unprecedented 1-2-3 LSU sweep in the triple jump to spearhead the Tigers to victory with their last NCAA team championship. He also earned All-America honors in the long jump at the meet.
The 2004 season was a magical one for Simon as he went on to represent Trinidad and Tobago in the triple jump at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, for the first time in his career.
Prior to joining the LSU track and field program, Simon was a star at Barton Country Community College in Kansas, where he led the Cougars to back-to-back national titles in the National Junior College Athletic Association while winning the NJCAA triple jump crown in 2001 and finishing runner-up in the event at the national meet in 2002.
“The entire LSU track and field family is deeply saddened at the loss of LeJuan Simon,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. When thinking of LeJuan, I will always remember his infectious smile and the many successes he had as a student and athlete at Klein Forest High School, Barton County Community College and LSU.
“His winning performance in the NCAA Indoor triple jump in 2004 was one of the greatest moments in the history of LSU track and field. We will forever miss seeing LeJuan but will never forget our time spent with him. He was a tremendous human being.”
Simon died late Wednesday night due to complications with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension, a condition that creates additional pressure in the pulmonary artery responsible for supplying blood and the necessary oxygen to the lungs. The cause for the disease is generally unknown.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Catholic Charities Diocese of Baton Rouge, Inc. All contributions are tax deductible and will go directly to assist the Simon family.
Simon is survived by his wife, Dechelle, and his two children – Devin (6) and Alana (3). Dechelle Simon was also a track and field athlete during her collegiate career at LSU.