Duncan wins Bowerman
by Joey Martin - posted Wednesday, December 26th, 2012 @ 1:58 pm
Kimberlyn Duncan capped off an amazing year by winning the prestigious Bowerman Award, honoring the premiere athlete in collegiate track and field.
Duncan, the daughter of Ferriday natives and Ferriday High graduates Antonne Duncan, Jr. and Schrylean Nix- Duncan of Katy, Texas, received the award in Orlando, Fl., last week.
Duncan is the first SEC athlete to win the Bowerman since its inception.
Duncan was announced as the women's recipient of The Bowerman as she was joined by two other finalists in Arizona high jumper Brigetta Barrett and Oregon heptathlete Brianne Theisen.
Distance runner Cam Levins of Southern Utah was honored as the men's recipient of The Bowerman. Levins was joined by Florida sprinter Tony McQuay and Illinois sprinter and hurdler Andrew Riley as this year's men's finalists.
This marked the second year in a row in which Duncan has been honored as a finalist for collegiate track and field's highest individual honor as she is the only two-time finalist in the history of the award.
Now in its fourth year, The Bowerman is collegiate track and field's equivalent to the Heisman Trophy and is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the nation's premier male and female athlete at the collegiate level each season. This year's finalists were announced by the USTFCCCA on June 29.
"I'm in total shock right now, I don't even know what to say," Duncan said following the announcement. "When I heard them call my name, I had to take a moment just to make sure I heard them right. It's so surreal. To know that those voting for this award see me as the best athlete at this level is very humbling to me. We have some amazing athletes from some great programs here tonight. Any one of them is deserving of this award. Of course, I'm very excited to win it this year while representing my school and my team at LSU.
"I'm fortunate to train with my great coaches and teammates that really push me every single day to improve myself. I think this is just a result of their impact on my life and how they push me each and every day. And I know I wouldn't be where I am today without my family. They've supported me and helped me to get where I am today. I'm blessed to have them in my life. This only pushes me and motivates me to reach my full potential in this sport. I'm very honored to receive this award, and will work even harder to defend it in my senior year."
Duncan cemented her legacy as one of the NCAA's all-time greats while leading the Lady Tigers as a junior during the 2012 season.
Duncan defended her 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 back-to-back seasons with her performance. She smashed her own low-altitude collegiate record with a personal record of 22.19 seconds set in the semifinals at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Duncan also earned a reputation as one of the world's emerging stars in the 100-meter dash when she became just the fifth collegiate sprinter all-time to break 11 seconds in the event when she set the SEC Championships meet record with a run of 10.96 in the conference final to win her first career SEC title in the event.
The two-time NCAA 100-meter silver medalist is now the No. 3-ranked sprinter in collegiate history in both the 100 meters and 200 meters.
A native of Katy, Texas, Duncan has captured five NCAA championships, seven SEC championships and nine All-America honors as one of the most decorated sprinters in school history.
Duncan missed by .12 of a second of making the USA Olympic team in Euguene, Or. this past summer.
Duncan wrapped up the final day's action by lining up in a women's 200-meter final that certainly lived up to its reputation as the most competitive event at this year's U.S. Olympic Trials.
Duncan just missed earning her spot on Team USA after crossing the finish line in fourth place with a run of 22.34 behind 400-meter champion Sanya Richards-Ross (22.22) for that coveted third and final spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
"I had a wonderful experience in Eugene at my first Olympic Trials," Duncan said. "I came up short in making the team but I know that God has a purpose, a plan and great things in store for me."
Three-time World champion Allyson Felix shattered the Olympic Trials record in a world-leading time of 21.29, while Carmelita Jeter finished in second place in 22.11.
"I just tried to go out there and execute the race as best I could and make it in the top three. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do that, but I'm still excited that I was able to make it this far and get this type of experience," Duncan said. "I knew these ladies were going to come out here and push me. This is the best event in this meet, and it was great for me to be there."
Duncan follows in the footsteps of Colorado's Jenny Barringer (2009), Virginia Tech's Queen Harrison (2010) and Texas A&M's Jessica Beard (2011) as the women who have claimed The Bowerman trophy since the award's inception. Levins follows the likes of Oregon's Galen Rupp (2009) and Ashton Eaton (2010) and Florida State's Ngoni Makusha (2011).
ESPN SportsCenter anchor and host of ABC's Wipeout John Anderson served as the Master of Ceremonies for The Bowerman Ceremony and USTFCCCA Hall of Fame Ceremony.