Track & Field Duo Honored with Regional Awards
DES MOINES, Iowa - After arriving in Des Moines ahead of Wednesday's start to the semifinal rounds of the 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, LSU's head coach Dennis Shaver and junior sprinter Kimberlyn Duncan were honored Monday afternoon with top regional awards from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Shaver has been chosen the USTFCCCA Women's South Central Region Coach of the Year, and Duncan has been honored as the USTFCCCA Women's South Central Region Track Athlete of the Year as LSU's teams prepare to wrap up the 2012 season this week at the NCAA Championships.
Shaver has coached the Lady Tigers to the No. 1 national ranking as they prepare for the semifinals of the NCAA Outdoor Championships beginning Wednesday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
The Lady Tigers have held the top spot in the national rankings in each of the last three weeks in the wake of their dominating victory at the 2012 SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships held on May 10-13 at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium in Baton Rouge. They racked up 161.5 points in four days for their most points scored at an SEC Championships since the 2003 season.
With the win, the Lady Tigers completed the "three-peat" with their third-straight SEC Outdoor team title and their fifth in the last six seasons. They have now won a total of 25 SEC team titles all-time in winning a league-leading 13 SEC Outdoor titles and 12 SEC Indoor titles in program history.
The Lady Tigers boast the nation's second-largest contingent with 16 semifinalists as they prepare for this week's semifinal and final rounds of the NCAA Championships beginning Wednesday afternoon.
This marks the fourth time in his eight-year tenure as LSU's head coach that Shaver has been voted as the USTFCCCA Women's South Central Region Head Coach of the Year. He was also honored as this year's SEC Women's Outdoor Coach of the Year with his team's performance at the SEC Championship to give Shaver a total of seven SEC Coach of the Year awards during his distinguished tenure.
Duncan is Shaver's star pupil as she has set the track on fire this spring while leading the Lady Tigers into the NCAA Championships with record-setting performances in each of her last two meets. She is also one of the favorites to take home The Bowerman this season with her effort.
Duncan's selection to the final watch list for The Bowerman comes only one day after she was recognized as the USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week in the wake of her record-setting and world-leading efforts at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds held May 24-26 at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.
Duncan catapulted herself to the top of the 2012 world list in the 200-meter dash while shattering her own low-altitude collegiate record as she sprinted to a time of 22.22 seconds in the NCAA quarterfinal.
That performance eclipsed her previous personal record and low-altitude collegiate record of 22.24 posted in winning the NCAA Outdoor crown as a sophomore just one year ago. It also moved her to No. 2 on the NCAA's all-time wind-legal list as former Lady Tiger national champion Dawn Sowell set the all-altitude collegiate record of 22.04 at altitude in Provo, Utah, at the 1989 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
A native of Katy, Texas, Duncan has shown tremendous form as a defending NCAA 200-meter champion as she enters the NCAA semifinal with 17-straight victories against collegiate competition in the event.
The 2011 NCAA silver medalist and 2012 NCAA leader in the 100-meter dash also earned her spot in the national semifinals in the short sprint as the top qualifier at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds.
Duncan has been a revelation as one of the world's leading 100-meter sprinters this spring as her personal record and SEC Championships meet record of 10.96 ranks No. 5 on the world list for 2012. She has even run a wind-aided 10.94 in the event this spring as an NCAA title favorite. She set her PR of 10.96 with an impressive win at the SEC Championships while establishing a new meet record.
Duncan also runs the anchor leg for LSU's defending national champion 4x100-meter relay that enters the NCAA Championships as the NCAA leader with a seasonal-best run of 42.99 at the Texas Relays.
The reigning USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week continues to pile up the awards as she has also been named the SEC Women's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year on the strength of her performance at the SEC Championships. She has also been recognized as the SEC Women's Runner of the Week this year an impressive five times, including three selections during the outdoor season.