BATON ROUGE - Members of the LSU Track & Field program are among the University leaders in competition, in the classroom and in the community each year, and the teams were recognized for their effort again as part of the 2013 Tiger Athletic Foundation Academic Excellence Gala held Monday night.
LSU Track & Field athletes took home five of the 15 major individual awards presented during the gala as student-athletes from each of LSU's 19 varsity sports were in attendance for the annual event as this year's festivities were held at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Monday evening.
While LSU Track & Field athletes led the way with five major individual awards collected, softball followed with three awards, while football and swimming and diving trailed with two awards and athletes from baseball, gymnastics and soccer trailed with one award apiece.
After capping a historic junior season as the 2012 recipient of The Bowerman in December, Lady Tiger senior Kimberlyn Duncan was honored as the 2013 TAF Female Athlete of the Year.
Duncan is one of the most decorated sprinters to ever wear the LSU uniform as she made history in 2012 as the first SEC athlete to win The Bowerman as the premier athlete in collegiate track and field. It was the result of a historic junior season as Duncan was honored with track and field's equivalent to the Heisman Trophy as the top athlete in her sport.
In 2012, Duncan swept NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor championships in the 200-meter dash, becoming the first sprinter in collegiate history to sweep national titles in the event in consecutive seasons. She even swept SEC titles in the event for the second-straight season en route to smashing her own low-altitude collegiate record with a personal best of 22.19 seconds in the national semifinal.
Duncan also finished as the NCAA silver medalist in the 100-meter dash for the second-straight season after smashing the SEC Championships meet record in the event with a personal best of 10.96 while guiding the Lady Tigers to a defense of their SEC Outdoor championship in the meet held at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium in Baton Rouge.
Duncan, who captured her third-straight NCAA Indoor 200-meter crown on Saturday, is a six-time NCAA Champion, a 9-time SEC Champion and 11-time All-American as a Lady Tiger.
While Duncan was honored for her athletic performance during the TAF Academic Excellence Gala on Monday night, former Tiger Cullen Doody, former Lady Tiger Christine Derbins, senior Laura Carleton, and sophomore Philip Dempsey were each presented academic awards for their effort in the classroom over the past year.
Carleton was honored as a recipient of the Bengal Belles Academic Achievement Award for the second-straight year after being named the TAF Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2011.
Carleton has developed into one of the elite distance runners in the Southeastern Conference during her career as she has made history in February as the first Lady Tiger in program history to earn a SEC Indoor championship in the 5,000-meter run with her conference victory this season. After graduating as a University Medalist in May 2011 with her degree in business administration, Carleton is now pursuing a master of business administration while continuing her running career with the Lady Tigers.
Dempsey earned his first career award at the TAF Academic Excellence Gala as the TAF Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. A native of Mobile, Ala., Dempsey has been named to the Chancellor's List during the last three semesters and is a member of both Phi Eta Sigma and Alpha Lambda Delta honor societies while maintaining a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade-point average in biological sciences.
Derbins, the TAF Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year last spring, was recognized as a recipient of the Wally Pontiff, Jr. Academic Excellence Award for the second-straight season as she has maintained her perfect 4.0 GPA while earning two degrees in mathematics and mass communication during her collegiate career.
Doody, the 2011-12 Brad Davis SEC Community Service Leader of the Year award winner, claimed his third career Wally Pontiff, Jr. Academic Excellence Award after graduating from LSU last spring with his degree in biology with a 3.93 GPA. Doody is now continuing his education at dermatology school after receiving a $10,000 postgraduate scholarship from the SEC.
The Tiger Athletic Foundation also presented 41 members of the LSU Track & Field program with the LSU Director's Cup for Academic Excellence in their pursuit of excellence in the classroom for the 2011-12 academic year, including 20 Tigers and 21 Lady Tigers.
There were also 33 members of the program honored as selections to the SEC Academic Honor Roll with their scholastic achievement a season ago.
2013 TAF Academic Excellence Gala
LSU Track & Field Academic Award Winners
TAF Female Athlete of the Year
TAF Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Bengal Belles Academic Achievement Award
LSU Scholar-Athlete Director's Cup Recipients