Kimberlyn DuncanLSU Track & Field, 2012-13 Corbett Award Winner
Kimberlyn Duncan, a dominant sprint star for the Louisiana State track and field team, has been selected as the 2013-13 female winner of the James J. Corbett Award by the Allstate Sugar Bowl. This is the second time that Duncan has earned the honor. The Corbett Awards are presented annually to the top male and female amateur athletes in the state of Louisiana. They are selected by the Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee, a group of current and former media members who select the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame, as well as annual award winners in a variety of categories, including the Corbett Awards and the Eddie Robinson Award.
Duncan also won the Corbett Award in 2010-11. She is the fifth individual to win multiple Corbett Awards, joining three other LSU stars and a Southern University legend. The other multiple winners are Pete Maravich (LSU Basketball, 1968, 1969), Rodney Milburn (Southern Hurdler, 1971, 1973), Shaquille O’Neal (LSU Basketball, 1991, 1992) and Seimone Augustus (LSU Basketball, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005).
An elite 200-meter dash lasts just over 22 seconds with the winner edging the competition by mere hundredths of seconds. One misstep is the difference between a championship and also-ran status. Yet somehow, LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan avoided missteps for nearly her entire career as she established herself as the most consistent 200-meter dash sprinters in history.
A product of Katy, Texas, outside Houston, Duncan won 24 of her last 25 collegiate finals in the 200-meter dash. More importantly, when it mattered most, under the most intense pressure, the 5-10 speedster never wilted. She became the first sprinter in NCAA history to win three straight NCAA gold medals; and she did it twice, winning the 200 from 2011-13 at both the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships.
In 2013, she won the Indoor title in the 200-meter dash in March with a time of 22.58 seconds; she followed that by winning the Outdoor title in June with a time of 22.04, matching the best 200-meter time in NCAA history (though it did not qualify for the record due to being wind-aided).
“What Kim achieved is a much more unique accomplishment than what anybody probably realizes,” LSU coach Dennis Shaver told The Advocate. “As time goes on, history will prove that what she did was a pretty incredible feat. People will see that it’s a great accomplishment.”
At the indoor championships, she also finished seventh in the 60-meter dash to earn All-America honors while helping LSU to a third-place overall finish. Also at the outdoor championships, Duncan ran 11.08 in the 100-meter dash to finish third overall and then ran a leg of LSU’s 4×100 relay team which finished sixth overall as the Tigers earned fourth place as a team.
One look at the numbers tells the story of how Duncan has put her name alongside the greatest sprinters to ever line up at the collegiate level, regardless of gender. She will soon embark on a professional career after winning seven NCAA event titles, 12 SEC event titles and 14 All-America honors in her four seasons in Baton Rouge from 2010-13. Duncan also won The Bowerman trophy in 2012 (presented in December of 2012) as the premier athlete in all of collegiate track and field.
Not only does Duncan’s seven NCAA titles tie Muna Lee’s LSU career record, but her 12 SEC titles also ties the team record for a career held by Lee and former Lady Tiger great Peta-Gaye Dowdie (1997-2000). Dowdie won the Corbett Award in 2000.
Duncan is the low-altitude collegiate-record holder in the 200-meter dash with a personal-best wind-legal time of 22.19 set in the NCAA quarterfinals a year ago, while her wind-legal PR of 10.96 in the 100 meters set in the SEC Outdoor final in 2012 puts her as the No. 3-ranked sprinter in collegiate history in the event.
Duncan now turns her attention to the professional ranks – she won the 200 at the USA Outdoor Championships in June to qualify for her first World Championships team for the United States. The 2013 IAAF World Championships in Athletics head to Moscow, Russia, this summer as the world’s best track and field athletes are set to compete from Aug. 10-18.
The Corbett Award was created in 1967 and named in honor of the late James J. Corbett to commemorate his many contributions to intercollegiate athletics and specifically to the Sugar Bowl. At the time of his death, Mr. Corbett was the Athletic Director at Louisiana State University. These awards are presented annually to the most outstanding amateur male and female athletes in the State of Louisiana. The Corbett recipients are selected each year by members of the N.O. Sports Hall of Fame Committee, based on nominations submitted by the state’s sportswriters, sportscasters and sports information directors.
Since its inception in 1967 (through 2012), Corbett Award winners include 16 NFL players, seven Major League Baseball players, four NBA players (including two Hall of Famers), eight Olympians (including seven Gold Medal winners), three WNBA player and one PGA Tour star.