POSTED: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 7:59pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 8:00pm
BATON ROUGE, La — After being selected a member of the Bowerman Award watch list for much of the 2011 season, Lady Tiger sophomore Kimberlyn Duncan has cashed in on her three NCAA event titles and four All-America honors as she was named one of 10 semifinalists Tuesday evening for the top individual honor presented annually in all of collegiate track and field.
The Bowerman is collegiate track and field’s equivalent to the Heisman Trophy and is presented annually to the top male and female athlete in the country following each season.
With the 2011 collegiate season now in the books, the 10 semifinalists will be evaluated by the 10-person Bowerman Advisory Committee and three award finalists will be named on Thursday, July 14.
Duncan, a recent finalist for the prestigious Honda Sports Award for women’s track and field, emerged as one of the world’s up-and-coming young sprinters on the strength of a brilliant 2011 campaign.
Duncan, a native of Katy, Texas, was the top individual point scorer among all female competitors at the 2011 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships held in Des Moines, Iowa, from June 8-11 as she scored 20.5 points to lead the Lady Tigers to a third-place finish in the final team race. LSU scored 43.5 points during the four-day meet held at Drake Stadium.
Duncan became the new 2011 world leader in the 200-meter dash with her national championship victory 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 crowned the NCAA Indoor champion in the event after running 22.85 in the national final back in March.
Her winning mark of 22.24 eclipsed the previous world-leading time of 22.38 set by three-time defending World Champion Allyson Felix. It is also the third-fastest wind-legal time in collegiate history behind the 22.04 by LSU’s Dawn Sowell in 1989 and 22.23 by Southern Cal’s Carol Rodriguez in 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 has proven to be the nation’s most dominant 200-meter sprinter in recent memory as she has recorded three of the Top 10 times under all conditions in collegiate history in 2011. While her top wind-legal time of 22.24 ranks No. 7 on the all-time collegiate list in 200-meter races run under all conditions, Duncan ran the No. 3-ranked time with a windy 22.18 at the LSU Invitational on April 2 and the No. 9-ranked time in a wind-aided 22.27 in winning the SEC Outdoor title on May 15.
Not only is Duncan the only 200-meter sprinter who appears on the NCAA’s all-time all conditions list on more than one occasion, but she owns the only mark at 22.24 that wasn’t either altitude or wind assisted.
Duncan also anchored the Lady Tigers to their 13th NCAA title all-time with 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.
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. She finished just .01 seconds behind the national champion Candyce McGrone of Oklahoma, who clocked a winning time of 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 with a season sweep of SEC team championships.
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 22.40 in 2008.
2011 Bowerman Award Women’s Semifinalists
Athlete, Year, School, Events
Nia Ali, Senior, Southern California, Hurdles/Jumps
Brigetta Barrett, Sophomore, Arizona, Jumps
Jessica Beard, Senior, Texas A&M, Sprints
Emma Coburn, Junior, Colorado, Distance
Kimberlyn Duncan, Sophomore, LSU, Sprints
Jordan Hasay, Sophomore, Oregon, Distance
Sheila Reid, Junior, Villanova, Distance
Tina Sutej, Junior, Arkansas, Pole Vault
Jeneba Tarmoh, Junior, Texas A&M, Sprints
Brianne Theisen, Senior, Oregon, Combined Events