2013 Track & Field Preview: Sprints, Relays
- Part 1: Sprints, Relays
- Part 2: Hurdles
- Part 3: Distance, Middle Distance
- Part 4: Jumps, Pole Vault
- Part 5: Throws
After earning a third-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships and defending their crown at the SEC Outdoor Championships during the 2012 season, the Lady Tigers are poised for another championship run as they return six All-Americans and one of the nation's top recruiting classes that will provide the foundation for one of the NCAA's most talented teams this spring. Like the men's team, the Lady Tigers feature a balanced squad with All-America hopefuls in each of the five event areas, including the sprints, hurdles, jumps, throws and middle distances. That firepower is sure to lead the Lady Tigers into the championship chase again in 2013.
Sixth in a 10-part series previews a the women's sprints and relays that are sure to scorch the track in 2013.
Women's Sprints & Relays
The Lady Tigers have built the success of their program on developing the nation's premier sprinters at the collegiate level year in and year out, and the 2013 season will witness the end of an era as senior Kimberlyn Duncan steps onto the track for the final time as one of the most decorated sprinters in the history of collegiate track and field.
Duncan cemented her legacy as one of the NCAA's great sprinters with a history-making junior season in 2012 as she was named the winner of The Bowerman as the top athlete in all of collegiate track and field. In fact, she made history as the first SEC athlete to win track's Heisman Trophy as The Bowerman has now been presented in each of the last four years.
In 2012, Duncan defended her NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor titles in the 200-meter dash, becoming the first sprinter in collegiate history to sweep national titles in the event in back-to-back seasons. She smashed her own low-altitude collegiate record in the 200 meters outdoors with a personal record of 22.19 seconds clocked in the semifinals en route to the title at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, while she also earned a fourth-place finish in the event in her first U.S. Olympic Trials and narrowly missing a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team.
Duncan also emerged as one of the world's bright young stars in the 100-meter dash after she became just the fifth collegiate sprinter in history to break 11 seconds by shattering the SEC Championships meet record with a run of 10.96 in claiming her first conference championship for the event. A two-time NCAA silver medalist in the 100 meters in her collegiate career, Duncan is now the No. 3-ranked sprinter in collegiate history in both sprinting events.
In her three seasons with the Lady Tigers, Duncan has captured five NCAA championships, seven SEC championships and nine All-America honors as one of the most decorated sprinters to ever wear the purple and gold.
Takeia Pinckney also makes her return as an All-American for the Lady Tigers in 2013 as she competes as a senior indoors and junior outdoors this spring.
Pinckney is hoping to recapture the All-America form she displayed as a true freshman in 2010 when she was the fourth-place finisher in the final of the 100-meter dash at the NCAA Outdoor meet. Also a strong leg on LSU's 4x100-meter relay throughout her career, Pinckney boasts personal bests of 7.24 in the 60 meters, 11.26 in the 100 meters and 23.32 in the 200 meters.
In her two season with the Lady Tigers, Sylvester has set personal records of 7.37 in the 60 meters, 11.54 in the 100 meters and 23.87 in the 200 meters as a former NCAA Championship semifinalist in the sprints. Davis is LSU's top sprint recruit in the Class of 2012 after signing her National Letter of Intent last spring with personal bests of 11.73 in the 100 meters and 23.89 in the 200 meters after a heralded prep career at Spring Hill High School in Longview, Texas.
The Lady Tigers also enter the 2013 season as the defending NCAA Indoor champions and NCAA Outdoor silver medalists in the 4x400-meter relay following a record-breaking season in 2012. In fact, they slashed nearly one second off the school record with their run of 3 minutes, 24.59 seconds at the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the third-fastest time in collegiate history.
Siedda Herbert and Latoya McDermott return for their senior seasons as Herbert ran the third leg on the foursome that claimed the NCAA Indoor crown and McDermott ran the leadoff leg on the squad that set the school record as the NCAA runner-up a year ago.
The Lady Tigers will rely on the core of their 2012 signing class to provide needed depth in the 4x400-meter relay, including a trio of junior transfers in Natoya Goule and Shana-Gaye Tracey from South Plains College and Nikita Tracey from Oklahoma Baptist University. An 800-meter specialist, Goule owns a personal best of 51.52 in the 400-meter dash that she set during her freshman campaign at South Plains. Nikita Tracey is a two-time NAIA champion in the 400-meter hurdles, while Shana-Gaye Tracey is a former junior college national champion in the event.
Check back Tuesday for Part 6 and Part 7 of LSU Track & Field's 2013 season preview as we will feature the women's hurdlers and middle distance/distance runners.