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|Duncan shines again|
LSU junior Kimberlyn Duncan has always been a confident runner.
But even she had a hard time taking in what transpired at the SEC Outdorr Track & Field Championships this past weekend in Baton Rouge.
Duncan swept 100-meter and 200-meter titles in record-breaking fashion to guide the Lady Tigers to their fifth SEC Outdoor crown in six seasons at Bernie Moore Stadium.
Duncan finished as LSU's top point scorer with 22.5 points for the weekend as she also ran the anchor leg on the winning 4x100-meter relay for the Lady Tigers to kick off Sunday's finals on the track.
"I was not expecting that at all," said Duncan, who is the daughter of Ferriday natives and Ferriday High graduates Antonne Duncan, Jr. and Schrylean Nix- Duncan of Katy, Texas.
The Lady Tigers piled up 114 points while scoring in 10 of the 12 events in the meet finale to defend their home turf with 161.5 points in four days of competition in Baton Rouge. Their 161.5 points is the most by the Lady Tigers at the SEC Outdoor Championships since the 1993 season.
The Florida Gators finished in second place in the final women's team standings with 138 points followed by Arkansas (111.5) in third place, Georgia (108) in fourth place and Tennessee (97) in fifth place.
LSU captured its third-straight women's team title at the SEC Outdoor Championships, and its fifth in six seasons with victories in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The victory marks the first time since 1991 that the Lady Tigers have won at least three-straight SEC Outdoor team titles with their 13th SEC Outdoor crown in program history and 25th conference title between the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Duncan stole the show and wowed a packed house at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium in setting the SEC meet record in the 100-meter dash before defending her SEC Outdoor crown in the 200 meters to cement her reputation as the NCAA's most dominant dual sprinter for the 2012 season.
Duncan raced into history with a dominating performance in winning the SEC 100-meter crown as she set an SEC Championships meet record and Bernie Moore Track Stadium record of 10.96 (+1.9) to become a 10th different Lady Tiger to be crowned the conference champion in the event while winning LSU's 16th league title in the sprint all-time. She is now the fourth Lady Tiger in five seasons to take the SEC 100-meter title.
With Sunday's performance, Duncan shattered the previous SEC meet record of 11.03 set by Olympic silver medalist Kerron Stewart of Auburn in 2003, and her own previous Bernie Moore Stadium record of 11.05 set just three weeks ago at the LSU Alumni Gold meet held on April 21.
"I think I shocked myself a bit there," Duncan said. "My start was the key. I knew the other girls were going to get off to a good start."
Duncan helped open the scoring for the Lady Tigers in the first final on the track by anchoring LSU to the defense of its conference championship in the 4x100-meter relay.
Duncan joined sophomore Takeia Pinckney, senior Semoy Hackett and senior Rebecca Alexander to take the title in 43.27 seconds and defend the crown they won in Athens, Ga., a season ago. They finished well ahead of Auburn (43.67) for their 18th SEC title in the sprint relay in program history.
With LSU sitting in third place with 84.5 points heading into the 100-meter final, Duncan and Hackett put the Lady Tigers in the lead for good with a sweep of first and second places in the event.
Duncan became the NCAA's No. 3-ranked 100-meter sprinter in history with her wind-legal run of 10.96 on Sunday afternoon.
"The weather was tough Friday and Saturday, but Sunday was the best day," Duncan said. "We had to contend with the wind and rain early."
The Lady Tigers emerged from the 100-meter final with a 7.5-point lead over Florida by a score of 104.5-97 and never looked back in claiming their fifth SEC Outdoor crown in six seasons.
The Lady Tiger tandem then scored the team's final points before the running of the 4x400-meter relay.
as they again swept the gold and silver medals in the 200-meter dash for the second year in a row.
'I think running in the 100 helps me in the 200 because I focus more on my start and it kind of gets the butterflies out of the way," she said.
Duncan claimed her 17th-straight 200-meter title against collegiate competition with the third-fastest effort under all conditions in NCAA history as she crossed the finish line with a wind-aided time of 22.12 in her title defense. Hackett also raced to a new 2012 seasonal best with the No. 2-ranked time in the NCAA this spring at 22.74w as she trails only Duncan on the national all-conditions list.
"My approach for my races today was just to stay confident and comfortable with what I was doing here," Duncan said. "We train hard all year for this, so I knew I was ready to go today. The (100) record is great, but going out in all of our events and trying to score as many points as possible was our main goal. I think we did that today. I'm proud of our team for what we accomplished."
The Tigers and Lady Tigers will now turn their attention to the NCAA Championships, as they make their trip to Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla., on May 24-26 for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds being held at the University of North Florida with the first and second rounds of the national meet.
The semifinal and final rounds with the 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, are slated to run June 6-9 at Drake Stadium at Drake University.
"I have to put this behind me and get ready for regionals," Duncan said. "I'm going in with a lot of confidence."
|Frank Morris Murder Series|