LeQuan Chapman of Shippensburg University has been named the 2015 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Atlantic Region Men's Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year. Chapman, who is openly gay, won conference titles in the triple jump and long jump and helped his 4x100-meter relay team to second place.
Chapman was also named by his school as its male student-athlete of the year. He is majoring in communications and journalism and made the Dean's List with a 3.1 GPA.
Last year, Chapman wrote a fantastic coming out story, and he described the thrill he gets from competing:
"There is no better feeling than landing into the soft, powder-like sand and knowing that I have jumped a personal best. It’s humbling to make connections with other athletes and know that they’ve worked just as hard as I have. I have much respect for all of them, but at the same time, one of the best things about my sport is the competition. I’m naturally very competitive, so I’m always up for a challenge. I never step onto a runway and think that I will lose, but I also understand that I will not always be the winner. It’s all about who’s going to show up on that particular day. The journey, to find out who will be champion, is always fun."
He has another year left of eligibility and his goal of making the 2016 Olympic team is still in reach. His next stop is the U.S. Nationals in a week. It's great to see another out athlete excel in the arena.