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|Duncan focusing on outdoor season|
Take it one game at a time may be easy to say. But when the biggest event of your athletic career is just over the horizon, it's a challenge for LSU junior track star Kimberlyn Duncan.
Duncan is the daughter of Ferriday natives Antonne Duncan Jr. and Schrylean Duncan, who now reside in Katy, Texas.
Duncan is coming off a brilliant performance at the 2012 SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships when she won two SEC event titles, earned three All-SEC honors and finished as LSU's leading scorer with 20.5 points in three days of competition at Kentucky's Nutter Field House.
Duncan defended her SEC Indoor 200-meter title after recording a seasonal-best time of 23.07 seconds in the conference final that is the NCAA's No. 2-ranked performance this season.
Duncan defended her NCAA Indoor 200-meter gold medal after racing to a new indoor personal record in the national final, finishing more than two tenths of a second ahead of the rest of the field with her time of 22.74 seconds to emerge with the world's No. 1 ranking for 2012.
"It's like my coach (Dennis Shavers) said, 'It's hard to get to the top, it's even harder to stay there," Duncan said. "But I get a lot of motivation out of that."
As she prepares for the outdoor season, and defending her NCAA 200-meter outdoor title, Duncan can't help but turn her eyes toward Oregon and the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Historic Hayward Field June 22 to July 1, 2012, in Eugene.
"I'm trying to take it one dat at a time, but I can't help but think about Oregon," Duncan said. "It's tough because the season is longer than normal. But I do check out times of other runners who will no doubt be heading to Oregon."
Duncan said the competition in the SEC alone is good enough to prepare her for the Olympic Trials.
"There is some great competition in this conference and around the country," Duncan said. "It helps me prepare."
After earning an invitation to the presentation ceremony for The Bowerman as a finalist in 2011, has shown no signs of slowing down in 2012 as she remains among 10 athletes nationwide on the latest women's watch list for the award released earlier this month. The Bowerman is the Heisman Trophy of track and field.
Other sprinters on the 10-person list are Kamaria Brown of Texas A&M and
Octavious Freeman of Central Florida.
If her high school career is any indication, there will be another Duncan on future Bowerman lists.
Kimberlyn's little sister, Kiersten Duncan, a track letter of intent with the University of Texas.
Kiersten, a senior at at Houston Cy Springs High, placed third in the girls 200-meter dash at the UIL 5A State Track and Field Championships last year at the University of Texas.
Kiersten took first place at the New Balance Indoor Nationals with a time of 24.24 seconds, and ran even better three weeks later at the Shirley Crowe Invite Prelims, running the 200 in 24.09 seconds.
"I am very happy and very excited for her," Kimberlyn said. "I don't think there was any pressure to follow me at LSU, I believe she had her heart set on Texas all along. I'm excited about seeing her go through the whole college experience. She can start her own legacy. It would be great if we ended up at the same meet next year. We've always had this sister rivalry. I was a senior in high school when she was a freshman, so we competed together then. We push each other and have a great relationship. I will be pulling hard for her."
Kimberlyn is now unbeaten in her last 13 finals appearances against collegiate competition in the 200 meters in a streak that began with her breakout win at the 2011 Tyson Invitational during her sophomore season a year ago. Her streak includes a sweep of NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor titles in the 200-meter dash a season ago, as well as three SEC titles in the event during that span.
She also ran the second leg on LSU's 4x400-meter relay team that was crowned an SEC Indoor champion for the 2012 indoor season, running a career-best 53.6-second split to help the Lady Tigers take the title in 3 minutes, 34.02 seconds during Sunday's championship finale.
In addition, Duncan earned her first career All-SEC honor in the 60-meter dash at the SEC Indoor meet as she clocked a second-place time of 7.28 in the final. She has posted a personal record of 7.26 this year for the NCAA's No. 9-ranked performance in the 60-meter dash for the 2012 season.
"I feel like I am where I want to be," Duncan said. "I'm ready for the outdoor season. I know I have to bring my 'A' game each time out. And I want to get to Oregon. That would be a dream come true."
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