Lady Tiger national champion Kimberlyn Duncan is one of four women nationwide nominated for the 2010-11 Honda Sports Award that will be presented by the Collegiate Women’s Sports Awards to this year’s top female athlete in collegiate track and field.
Duncan joins a star-studded list of nominees that also features Texas A&M sprinter Jessica Beard, Florida State jumper Kim Williams and Villanova distance runner Sheila Reid.
The winner of this year’s Honda Sports Award for women’s track and field will also receive consideration for the Honda-Broderick Cup presented annually to the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. This is the 35th year in which the Collegiate Women Sports Awards will honor the top female athlete in 15 collegiate sports with one of the elite individual honors in NCAA athletics.
With Duncan’s nomination for this year’s award, American Honda will donate $1,000 to LSU’s women’s athletic fund. The university will receive an additional $5,000 if Duncan is selected as the award winner.
Duncan could become the third Lady Tiger track and field star to be presented the Honda Sports Award as D’Andre Hill (1995-96) and Keisha Spencer (1999-2000) were honored during their senior seasons with the program. LSU also features two other winners of the Honda Sports Award with Seimone Augustus for women’s basketball in 2004-05 and 2005-06 and Susan Jackson for gymnastics in 2009-10.
Duncan has earned consideration for this year’s Honda Sports Award for track and field on the strength of a 2011 season in which she has emerged as one of the world’s up-and-coming young sprinters.
She was the top individual point scorer among all competitors this past week at the 2011 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships as she scored 20.5 points to lead the Lady Tigers to a third-place team finish in the final standings. LSU scored 43.5 points during the four-day meet in Des Moines, Iowa.
Duncan became the new 2011 world leader in the 200-meter dash with her national championship victory Saturday at Drake Stadium as she set a new wind-legal personal best of 22.24 seconds in her final race of the collegiate season. With her victory, Duncan completed the 2011 season sweep of NCAA titles for 200 meters as she was also crowned the NCAA Indoor champion in the event in March.
Her winning time of 22.24 on Saturday eclipsed the previous world-leading time of 22.38 set by the three-time defending World Champion Allyson Felix of the United States. It is also the third-fastest time posted in collegiate history, trailing only the wind-legal performances of 22.04 by LSU’s collegiate record holder Dawn Sowell (1989) and 22.23 by Southern Cal’s Carol Rodriguez (2006).
Duncan is the sixth athlete in NCAA history to sweep both the NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor crowns in the 200-meter dash in the same season and the first Lady Tiger since Sowell in 1989.
She also anchored the Lady Tigers to their 13th NCAA title all-time in the 4x100-meter relay as she joined senior Kenyanna Wilson, junior Semoy Hackett and junior Rebecca Alexander to record the eighth-fastest time in NCAA history at 42.64 and defeat the four-time defending champions from Texas A&M (42.93).
Not only that, but Duncan nearly won a third NCAA event title at the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the weekend as she finished as the 2011 NCAA runner-up in the 100-meter dash after setting a new wind-legal personal best of 11.09 in an exciting national final on Friday night. She finished .01 seconds back of this year’s NCAA 100-meter champion in Candyce McGrone of Oklahoma (11.08).
While leading the Lady Tigers to a pair of third-place team finishes at the NCAA Championships in 2011, Duncan also led the way in conference action in a season sweep of SEC team titles by the Lady Tigers.
In a preview of what would come at the NCAA Championships, Duncan swept SEC championships in the 200-meter dash and captured one relay title as the anchor leg of LSU’s 4x100-meter relay. In clocking her indoor PR of 22.78 at the SEC Indoor Championships, Duncan set the world-leading mark for 2011 as she ran the fastest time by a woman indoors since Bianca Knight’s American indoor record of 22.40 in 2008.