Three Track & Field Athletes Honored by SEC
BATON ROUGE - Members of the LSU Track & Field program have been honored for their performance at the Armory Collegiate Invitational this past weekend while claiming three of the six SEC Athlete of the Week honors announced by the Southeastern Conference office on Tuesday afternoon.
Senior Kimberlyn Duncan has been selected the SEC Women's Runner of the Week for the second time in three weeks, while the Tigers and Lady Tigers have swept SEC Field Athlete of the Week awards with senior Damar Forbes winning the men's honor and junior Denise Hinton claiming the women's award.
This actually marks the third-straight week in which the Lady Tigers feature the SEC Women's Runner of the Week as junior Natoya Goule was honored a week ago.
Duncan has already made her name as the NCAA's most dominant 200-meter sprinter as the two-time defending NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor champion in the event. She has now emerged as a true national title contender in the 60-meter dash as the new NCAA leader with her dominating victory on Friday night at The Armory.
After winning her qualifying heat with the second-fastest time of the preliminary rounds at 7.33 seconds, Duncan returned to the track and smashed her personal best and finished one-tenth of a second ahead of Clemson's former NCAA leader Dezerea Bryant with a meet-record time of 7.16 to take home the victory as the NCAA and SEC leader for 2013. Bryant, who entered the weekend with an NCAA-leading best of 7.19, finished well back in second place at 7.26 in the final.
Duncan also beat four other sprinters who currently rank among the Top 10 of the NCAA rankings in the 60 meters this season, including No. 6-ranked Geronne Black of Portland State in third place at 7.30 and No. 7-ranked Paris Daniels of Kansas in fourth place at 7.34, as well as No. 8-ranked Mercedes Jackson of Maryland-Baltimore County in fifth place at 7.34 and No. 5-ranked Ashley Collier of Texas A&M in sixth place overall at 7.38.
With her performance, Duncan broke LSU great Kelly-Ann Baptiste's 5-year-old meet record of 7.17 set in 2008 and moved into the No. 3 spot on LSU's all-time performance list in the event.
While Duncan broke the meet record in winning the women's 60-meter crown, Hinton tied her own school record in a runner-up finish in the weight throw while wrapping up the weekend on the cusp of the Top 5 of the NCAA rankings in the event.
Hinton unleashed a seasonal-best throw of 69 feet, 9 ¾ inches in taking second place at The Armory on Saturday afternoon while helping lead the Lady Tigers to the women's team title. Hinton strengthened her SEC-leading mark with the No. 6-ranked performance in the NCAA this season as she finished runner-up to the to the winning mark and NCAA's No. 2-ranked throw of 71-4 ¾ by Kansas standout Alena Krechyk. Hinton matched the school record of 69-9 ¾ she set at the LSU NCAA Indoor Qualifier a year ago.
Hinton is the only SEC athlete to rank among the Top 20 performers in the NCAA rankings in the women's weight throw as she leads the SEC's No. 2-ranked performer by almost five feet as Florida's Jayla Bostic follows at No. 22 in the country with a best of 64-10 ¾ this season.
A three-time NCAA long jump silver medalist, Forbes made his anticipated season debut in the event during Friday's action at The Armory while defending his meet championship and turning in the No. 2 performance in the SEC and NCAA rankings for 2013.
Forbes, who finished as the NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor runner-up in the long jump as a junior in 2012, opened with a series-best and NCAA's No. 2-ranked mark at 25-10 ¼ to take home the Armory Collegiate Invitational title for the second-straight season.
It marks the seventh time in 12 appearances by LSU at the Armory Collegiate Invitational that a Tiger has captured the long jump crown during the meet. Forbes is LSU's first two-time winner since former Tiger star John Moffitt in 2003 and 2004. Other Tigers to win the long jump championship at The Armory include Walter Davis (2002), Will Coppage (2009) and Zedric Thomas (2010).
Forbes is off to a fast start to his senior season as he has also sprinted to a personal record of 6.77 for a 2013 seasonal-best in the 60-meter dash.
LSU's 2013 SEC Track & Field Athletes of the Week
SEC Men's Field Athlete of the Week
Feb. 5 - Damar Forbes
SEC Women's Field Athlete of the Week
Feb. 5 - Denise Hinton