BATON ROUGE - Lady Tiger senior Laura Carleton has officially wrapped up the 2012 cross country season as an All-South Central Regional selection as the all-region teams were announced this week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
After making the decision to redshirt during the 2011 season, Carleton returned to lead the Lady Tigers to an exceptional season this fall while also pursuing her Master's in Business Administration following her undergraduate studies.
"This is my senior season and fifth year on the team," Carleton said. "I think after sitting out last season, I have a deeper appreciation for the sport."
Carleton was the leader of a Lady Tiger squad that finished in the Top 10 of every meet in which they competed this fall, including first-place finishes at the McNeese Cowboy Stampede and LSU Invitational.
In each of these races, Carleton was the frontrunner for the Lady Tigers while placing fifth at the Commodore Classic, first at the McNeese Cowboy Stampede, first at the LSU Invitational, fourth at the Chile Pepper Festival, 12th at the SEC Championships and 20th at the NCAA South Central Regional.
For her performance, Carleton was named Women's SEC Runner of the Week on September 24, 2012, honored as an All-SEC Second Team member and placed on the NCAA South Central All-Region team.
"Overall the women had a great season," said LSU head coach Mark Elliott. "It is one of the best seasons we have ever had."
Carleton is not only impressive on the cross country course, but in the classroom as well. She has been voted to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District VI First Team for two consecutive years after maintaining a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average for her collegiate career.
Carleton was also the recipient of the University Medal, which she received in May 2011 after posting the top cumulative grade-point average for her graduating class and earning a degree in management.
"Laura is basically just a confident student-athlete," Elliott said. "She does great academically and is one of the top distance runners in the conference. It just goes to show hard work does pay off."