Billed as possibly the best name in all of collegiate sports, Pacific University student-athlete Budweiser Hawkins provided one of the many highlights of the 2013-2014 men’s basketball season on Feb. 15 when the Boxers took on the visiting Lewis & Clark College Pioneers.
But with Pacific’s men’s basketball season and Hawkins’ Boxer balling days all but finished, he still continues to put his explosiveness on display in a Boxer uniform.
Instead of throwing it down and splitting defenders on the basketball court, he continues to showcase his vertical as a member of the Pacific University track and field team.
An All-NWC performer in 2013, Hawkins competes in the long jump, high jump and new this season, the 400-meter relay.
Still young in the 2014 season, Hawkins leapt out with an explosive start on his first jump on March 8 at the Rich Allen Classic at George Fox University in Newberg, Ore.
He posted a mark of 22 feet, 5 inches in the long jump to lead the NWC, and at the time, the entire NCAA Division III. As of March 18, Hawkins is now ranked fourth. He is also tied for second in the high jump with fellow Boxer teammate Kelson Kawai.
His season-opening performance also earned him the honor of the Northwest Conference’s Men’s Field Student-Athlete of the Week for the week of March 3-9.
Hawkins has continued his strong performance with first-place finishes in both the long jump and high jump March 15 at the Saints Open at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham, Ore.
After finishing second in conference last season, Hawkins has his goals set for the top with competing at and winning nationals.
“When you set goals high, even if you hit low, you’ll still do something great,” said Hawkins.
A Las Vegas, Nev. native, Hawkins was a three-time Nevada 1A state champion in both the high jump and long jump in high school. He also set the Nevada state record in the high jump.
Although academically a senior, Hawkins still has another year of eligibility since he did not participate in track and field at the NCAA-level until he transferred to Pacific from Feather River College for the 2012-2013 school year.
Going into the season, Hawkins wasn’t thinking about using his remaining eligibility but has not ruled out the possibility of coming back to Pacific next year.
“You only get to do athletics four or five years out of your life so I mean if I have another year, why not take it?” said Hawkins. “I’m leaning towards possibly taking my last year. We’ll see what happens.”
For now it looks like Hawkins and the rest of the Pacific track and field team will end with large amounts of success this season, whether that be in terms of victories or just besting their own personal records.
Senior teammate Kawai also landed two victories in the high jump event.
Sophomore Tyler Shipley snatched victories in the 5,000 and 10,000 meter runs, including setting a new school record.
Other victories include junior Daniel Wagner with win in the 100, 110 and 400-meter hurdles.
Junior Taylor Hickson had a victory in the men’s javelin, senior Aaron Koford with a victory in the men’s pole vault by default and sophomore Kelsey Lee with a victory in the women’s 400-meter hurdles.
The team will continue action next weekend with the Lewis & Clark Invitational March 21-22 in Portland, Ore. and the Oregon Preview March 22 in Eugene, Ore.