Duncan off to blazing start
by Joey Martin - posted Thursday, January 24th, 2013 @ 9:49 am
LSU senior Kimberlyn Duncan opened the defense of her NCAA Indoor 200-meter title with an NCAA-leading performance this weekend at the Texas A&M Triangular held at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium as she sprinted to the finish line in 23.15 seconds in her season opener.
Duncan, the daughter of Ferriday natives and Ferriday High graduates Antonne Duncan, Jr. and Schrylean Nix- Duncan of Katy, Texas, lined up in lane No. 4 for the first 200-meter heat on the inside of Kamaria Brown of Texas A&M in lane No. 5 and Regina George of Arkansas in lane No. 6. Duncan got out fast and took control of the race by pulling even with Brown on the backstretch.
Duncan pulled ahead around the final curve and held that advantage over the NCAA Indoor bronze medalist while taking the title in 23.15. Brown took second with her 23.21, while Texas A&M's Ashton Purvis took third place with her heat win in 23.34.
"I was excited about starting out with a win," Duncan said. "My goal is to stay focused and just take it event by event."
It was Duncan's 19th-straight 200-meter victory against collegiate competition between the indoor and the outdoor seasons dating back to her sophomore season indoors in 2010.
Duncan said she doesn't necessarily feel any less pressure after finishing one spot from making the Olympic team and winning the Bowerman Award.
Duncan made history on Dec. 19 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.
A native of Katy, Texas, Duncan must battle a strong group of athletes to defend her trophy.
She is joined by fellow 2012 finalist Brigetta Barrett of Arizona, as well as three semifinalists in Oklahoma thrower Tia Brooks, Oregon sprinter English Gardner and Illinois sprinter Ashley Spencer.
There are 10 women's athletes representing nine different programs from across the country named to the award's preseason watch list, which will be updated throughout the 2013 campaign.
"I still have a goal of winning the Bowerman this year," Duncan said. "And I am going to try out for the world team. My main goal, though, is to keep trying to drop my time."
Duncan's younger sister, Kiersten Duncan, is a freshman sprinter at the University of Texas.
"I'm more excited for her than anything," Kimberlyn said."I'm trying to help her in any way I can."
LSU will compete in the Arkansas Invitational this weekend.