BATON ROUGE – After earning her third-straight selection to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District VI First Team earlier this spring, Lady Tiger distance runner Laura Carleton has capped her collegiate career as a Capital One First-Team Academic All-American as the team was announced Thursday afternoon.
It marks the first time in her career as a Lady Tiger that Carleton has been honored as a Capital One Academic All-American as CoSIDA has announced this year’s selections.
A native of Lake Charles, La., Carleton is among 15 first-team selections announced Thursday after earning her third-straight CoSIDA Academic All-District VI First Team honor nearly one month ago on May 30.
Joining Carleton on the Capital One Academic All-American First Team are Michigan’s Rebecca Addison, Washington’s Christine Babcock, Oklahoma’s Jacy Bennett, Kansas’ Heather Bergmann, Duke’s Juliet Bottorff, South Dakota’s Bethany Buell, Navy’s Brigid Byrne, Weber State’s Sarah Callister, Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino, South Dakota’s Alexa Duling, Oregon’s Jordan Hasay, UAB’s Rhiannon Johns, Oregon’s Anne Kesselring and Colorado’s Nicole Look.
The most decorated distance runner on and off the track in the history of the Lady Tiger program, Carleton graduated with her Master of Business Administration in May with her cumulative 3.96 grade-point average in two years of graduate work. She graduated in May 2011 with a perfect 4.0 GPA while earning her undergraduate degree in business administration.
Carleton proved to be one of the NCAA’s leading distance runners during her senior season this season as she finished in 21st place overall in her first career national final in the women’s 5,000 meters at the 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships held June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore. She was also a three-time NCAA quarterfinalist in the event during her collegiate career with the Lady Tigers.
Carleton ended the 2013 season as the NCAA’s No. 9-ranked performer in the 5,000-meter run after racing to a school record of 15 minutes, 44.41 seconds at the Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, Calif., on April 19.
Carleton also scored 10 points for the Lady Tigers with her performance in her final SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Columbia, Mo., as she was the SEC’s fourth-place finisher with both the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters at the conference meet. Her effort included a school-record run of 34:01.65 in the first ever 10,000-meter race in her five seasons with the Lady Tigers.
LSU’s distance ace made history during the indoor season in 2013 when she became the first Lady Tiger in program history to be crowned the SEC Indoor Champion in the 5,000 meters with her victory at the SEC Indoor Championships held in Fayetteville, Ark. She also set the indoor school record in the event with her seasonal-best time of 16:11.58 earlier this season.
In addition, Carleton set personal bests of 9:21.92 indoors and 9:22.69 outdoors to rank No. 2 in school history in the 3,000 meters and 4:19.99 outdoors to rank No. 4 in school history in the 1,500 meters during the 2013 campaign.