BATON ROUGE - In the wake of the Lady Tigers' victory at the 2010 SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships a week ago, head coach Dennis Shaver and freshman sprinter Takeia Pinckney have been honored by the SEC with one of the league's individual postseason awards announced Monday afternoon.
Shaver is the SEC Women's Outdoor Coach of the Year for the third time in his six seasons as head coach of the Lady Tigers, while Pinckney has been honored as the SEC Women's Freshman Runner of the Year in a postseason vote of the league's head coaches.
With Shaver's coaching, the Lady Tigers captured their 11th SEC Outdoor crown and their 22nd SEC team championship all-time with a dominating victory at the SEC Outdoor Championships held at Tennessee's Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium in Knoxville from May 13-16.
In four days of competition, LSU racked up 132 points for the meet for a comfortable victory over runner-up Florida (107.5) to win its third SEC Outdoor championship in the last four seasons.
With Shaver's coaching, sophomore standout Cassandra Tate was crowned the SEC champion in the 400-meter hurdles and ran the second leg on LSU's second-place 4x400-meter relay team. He also coached six other Lady Tigers to All-SEC finishes, including Pinckney (100 meters), Samantha Henry (200 meters), LaTavia Thomas (4x400 relay), Kayann Thompson (4x400 relay), Tenaya Jones (100 hurdles) and Latoya McDermott (4x400 relay). His athletes scored 62 points for the meet on the women's side.
Shaver has now been named the SEC Women's Coach of the Year four times, including one indoor award in 2008 and three outdoor awards in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
An All-SEC performer in her first season with the Lady Tigers, Pinckney proved to be the No. 1 freshman sprinter in the Southeastern Conference with her performance in 2010.
She scored a total of 13 points individually to help lead the Lady Tigers to the team title at the 2010 SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, including eight points with a second-place finish in the 100-meter dash and five points with a fourth-place finish in the 200-meter dash.
Pinckney shattered her personal record in the 100-meter final while running a wind-legal time of 11.26 en route to a runner-up finish at the conference meet. Her personal best entering the meet was 11.38 seconds. She also set a new wind-legal PR of 23.36 in the preliminary round of the 200-meter dash before finishing in fourth place in the conference final with a wind-legal time of 23.59.
A native of Atlanta, Ga., Pinckney enters the NCAA Preliminary Rounds as the No.1-ranked freshman for the SEC in both the 100 meters and 200 meters in 2010. She also ranks No. 3 this season among freshmen in the NCAA in both sprinting events, while she has also run the third leg on the third-fastest 4x100-meter relay team in the country with a seasonal-best time of 43.25.
2010 SEC Outdoor Track & Field Postseason Awards
SEC Women's Runner of the Year: Sheniqua Ferguson, Auburn
SEC Women's Field Athlete of the Year: Mariam Kevkhishvili, Florida
SEC Women's Freshman Runner of the Year: Takeia Pinckney, LSU
SEC Women's Freshman Field Athlete of the Year: Maya Pressley, Auburn
SEC Women's Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Phoebe Wright, Tennessee
SEC Women's Outdoor Coach of the Year: Dennis Shaver, LSU
SEC Men's Runner of the Year: Barnabas Kirui, Ole Miss
SEC Men's Field Athlete of the Year: Christian Taylor, Florida
SEC Men's Freshman Runner of the Year: Kirani James, Alabama
SEC Men's Freshman Field Athlete of the Year: Ricky Robertson, Ole Miss
SEC Men's Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Matt Maloney, Tennessee
SEC Men's Outdoor Coach of the Year: Mike Holloway, Florida