Coast Guard Academy cadet wins national championship

Coast Guard Academy Second Class Cadet Darius Adams, a native of Nassau, Bahamas, has distinguished himself as one of the top Academy athletes winning the national championship in the long jump at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships in May.

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Written by Casey McGarvey

Coast Guard Academy Second Class Cadet Darius Adams wins the national championship in the long jump at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Mount Union in Geneva, Ohio, May 25, 2017. Adams became the first Coast Guard track athlete to earn All-America honors since six-time All-American Adam Scalesse placed third in hurdles at the 2014 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships. U.S. Coast Guard graphic.
Coast Guard Academy Second Class Cadet Darius Adams wins the national championship in the long jump at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Mount Union in Geneva, Ohio, May 25, 2017. Adams became the first Coast Guard track athlete to earn All-America honors since six-time All-American Adam Scalesse placed third in hurdles at the 2014 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships. U.S. Coast Guard graphic.

Coast Guard Academy Second Class Cadet Darius Adams, a native of Nassau, Bahamas, has distinguished himself as one of the top Academy athletes winning the national championship in the long jump at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio.

May 25, 2017, marked Adams’s first NCAA championship appearance, posting the two best jumps in the championship during the opening flight at 23 feet, 11.75 inches. On his third attempt he leaped 24 feet, 1.5 inches to finish first of the nine qualifiers for the finals, and that would hold up in the finals.

He is the first Coast Guard athlete to earn a national championship in an individual sport since Christian Brindamour won the 50-meter freestyle at NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships in 2014.

Adams becomes the first Coast Guard track athlete to earn All-America honors since six-time All-American Adam Scalesse placed third in the 110 hurdles at the 2014 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

He had the seventh longest jump this year in Division III when he posted a jump of 24 feet, 5.75 inches to break his own school record and win the New England Open Championship, which featured athletes from Divisions I, II and III.

Coast Guard Academy Second Class Cadet Darius Adams takes first place in the long jump breaking his own school records as the men's and women's track and field teams at day one of the Open New England Championship hosted by Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., May 12, 2017. Adams became the first individual Open New England champion for Coast Guard since hurdler Adam Scalesse won in 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
Coast Guard Academy Second Class Cadet Darius Adams takes first place in the long jump breaking his own school records as the men’s and women’s track and field teams at day one of the Open New England Championship hosted by Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., May 12, 2017. Adams became the first individual Open New England champion for Coast Guard since hurdler Adam Scalesse won in 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

As one of the most gifted athletes at the Academy, he was also a member of the men’s basketball team for two years averaging 9.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game as a sophomore.

Coast Guard Academy Second Class Cadet Darius Adams played men's basketball in his sophomore year at the Academy in New London, Conn. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
Coast Guard Academy Second Class Cadet Darius Adams played men’s basketball in his sophomore year at the Academy in New London, Conn. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Adams earned All-NEWMAC honors with a second place finish in the long jump (21.6.75) last year and had a breakout season as a member of the football team this fall playing his first year of football at any level, set or tied three records and earned several postseason accolades. He was named to the 2016 New England Football Writers Division II/III All-New England Team. He was also named the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Offensive Rookie of the Year and was a first team all-conference selection.

He broke single-season school records with 1,054 receiving yards and 13 touchdown receptions, while also tying the single-game record of three touchdown receptions twice. He was second in receptions with a total of 47 receptions.

Coast Guard Academy Cadet Darius Adams is shown during the 2016 omecoming weekend football games against Maine Maritime. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
Coast Guard Academy Cadet Darius Adams is shown during the 2016 omecoming weekend football games against Maine Maritime. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Adams, an Operations Research and Computer Analysis major, choose the Academy because it was an opportunity to give back to his country. He will join the Royal Bahamas Defense Force (RBDF) upon graduation.

The Academy is a challenging place especially for an international cadet.

“Being an international student, it is never quite an easy road when you think about living in another country, separated from family, friends, and a different culture,” said Adams. “The numbers of international cadets are limited at each academy, so you have to find ways to prove yourself that you will represent your country the best you can.”

“Giving back to my country is something I wanted to do all my life,” continued Adams. “Everything I learn here at the Academy, I am always thinking of how I can apply it back home. My country is responsible for sending me here and that is where I am going to serve. Just being able to see that I can help better my country will bring me happiness.”

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