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|Duncan picks up where she left off|
I jokingly asked LSU senior Kimberlyn Duncan if she ever thought about pulling a Mo Isom and trying out for the LSU football team.
I say jokingly because Duncan does not play soccer and would not be a kicker.
Otherwise, she could probably add some offense to the Tigers.
"I have no desire to play football," Duncan said with a laugh. "I'll let the boys handle that. They are doing a great job."
Actually, if Duncan's accomplishments in track were compared to football, she would probably be ready to give her second straight Heisman Trophy speech.
Duncan made history on Dec. 19, 2012 when she was announced the winner of The Bowerman as the top athlete in collegiate track and field for the 2012 season. Not only is she the first LSU athlete to capture the trophy, but she is the first SEC athlete honored as the winner during the four years of the coveted award.
Duncan captured the Southeastern Conference's Cliff Harper Trophy over the weekend in Fayetteville, Ar, in the SEC indoor meet.
The Lady Tigers piled up 96 points with their performance on Sunday to take home a runner-up finish in the final team standings with 109.5 points in three days of action at the University of Arkansas. The Lady Tigers were the silver medalists to the 114.5 points scored by the SEC Indoor champion Arkansas Razorbacks on their home track. Texas A&M followed in third place with 88 points, while Florida took fourth place with 87.5 points and Georgia rounded out the Top 5 in fifth place with 52.5 points.
It marks the second year in a row in which LSU's women have earned a second-place finish at the SEC Indoor Championships after winning their last team title in 2011.
Duncan, the daughter of Ferriday natives and Ferriday High graduates Antonne Duncan, Jr. and Schrylean Nix- Duncan of Katy, Texas, was the top point scorer in three days at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
Duncan completed the sprint sweep with SEC Indoor titles in the 60 meters and 200 meters and ran the second leg on LSU's bronze-medal-winning 4x400-meter relay team to score 21.5 points for LSU as she became the 12th winner of the Cliff Harper Trophy in program history. The award is the former SEC Commissioner's Trophy.
"That was exciting," Duncan said. "I knew what I needed to do and wanted to stay focused. My main goal was to get points for my team. I wish we could have won it as a team, but Arkansas has a great team."
With the individual win, Duncan joins LSU great Muna Lee as the only three-time SEC Indoor champions in the 200-meter dash as Lee won three-straight titles from 2001-03.
Duncan also regained the No. 1 spot in the NCAA and world rankings for 2013 with her effort as the No. 5-ranked 200-meter sprinter in history on the NCAA's all-time Top 10 indoor list in the event.
"Everything is going great," Duncan said. "I'm looking forward to the outdoor season."
After earning All-SEC honors with a runner-up finish in the 60-meter final a year ago, Duncan was crowned champion in the event for the first time in her career with a run of 7.24 seconds in Sunday's final as she crossed the finish line ahead of Texas A&M teammates in Ashley Collier (7.26) in second place and Jennifer Madu (7.34) in third place.
"I talked to my mom and dad before the 60-meter race and they really helped me and encouraged me," Duncan said.
She then became just the third sprinter in SEC history to win three-straight SEC Indoor gold medals in the 200-meter dash as she defended her crown once again in historic fashion with an indoor personal record of 22.54 to finish nearly two-tenths of a second clear of the field in a two-section final. The Aggies produced the NCAA's No. 3 and No. 4 performers this season as Ashton Purvis captured the silver medal in 22.70 to finish runner-up to Duncan in the second heat and Kamaria Brown scored the bronze medal in 22.73 to win the first heat.
And with the team race in doubt as the Lady Tigers faced a one-point deficit to Arkansas heading into the final event of the meet with the 4x400-meter relay, Duncan's number was called upon by Shaver once again to run the second leg as she teamed with junior Natoya Goule, senior Siedda Herbert and sophomore Montenae Roye-Speight to run 3 minutes, 35.01 seconds in a third-place finish.
Arkansas won the 4x400 relay crown with an NCAA-leading run of 3:29.60, followed by South Carolina in second place with a time of 3:33.68 in the final event of this year's championship.
Duncan has now won 10 SEC event championships during her illustrious career, including three SEC Indoor titles (2011-13) and two SEC Outdoor titles (2011-12) in the 200 meters, two SEC Outdoor titles in the 4x100 relay (2011-12) and one SEC title each in the 60 meters (2013) and 4x400 relay (2012) indoors and 100 meters (2012) outdoors.
"I knew I had to get it together and come back and focus," Duncan said of her attempt at the 60 and 200 double. "It's a big accomplishment for me. I felt like I could do it. I knew the girls in the heats really would push me and make me go. It's all about staying confident in myself and just going out there and trying to score as many points as possible for my team. That's my main focus."
Duncan said her collegiate career has flown by.
"It's kind of bittersweet," she said. "I try not to think about how this is my last go-around. I'm just focusing on getting better."
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