LSU’s Tonea Marshall Recognized as Top Female Athlete in Louisiana

Photo Courtesy of LSU Athletics

NEW ORLEANS (June 11, 2020) – After establishing herself as one of the top collegiate track stars in the nation, as well as arguably the best hurdler in the NCAA, LSU senior Tonea [TUH-nee-uh] Marshall has emerged from a crowded field of talented athletes to earn the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s James J. Corbett Award which is presented to the top amateur athlete in the state of Louisiana.

The Corbett Awards (male and female) have been selected since 1967 by the Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The Committee selects award winners in a variety of categories – it also selects Amateur Athletes of the Month and each year’s Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame class. Overall, 24 individuals and four teams will be honored for their 2019-20 achievements. Honorees are being announced over a period of 24 days, wrapping up with the announcement of the male Corbett Award winner tomorrow, June 12.

Outstanding Girls’ Prep Coach of the Year, New Orleans: Lakenya Reed, Booker T. Washington Basketball
Outstanding Boys’ Prep Coach of the Year, New Orleans: Nick Monica, Archbishop Rummel Football
Outstanding Female Amateur Athlete, New Orleans: Angela Charles-Alfred, Xavier University Tennis
Outstanding Male Amateur Athlete, New Orleans: Ja’Marr Chase, LSU Football
Outstanding Boys’ Prep Team, New Orleans: St. James High School Football
Outstanding Girls’ Prep Team, New Orleans: Metairie Park Country Day School Volleyball
Outstanding Collegiate Coach, Louisiana: Ed Orgeron, LSU Football
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: Perry Clark, Tulane Basketball
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: Tim Floyd, UNO Basketball
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: Rick Jones, Tulane Baseball
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: Craig Perret, Horse Racing
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: Ashley Tappin-Doussan, Swimming
Jimmy Collins Special Awards: Demario Davis, Eastbank Little League
Eddie Robinson Award: Keeshawn Davenport, UNO Basketball
Corbett Award – Female: Tonea Marshall, LSU Track & Field
Corbett Award – Male: June 12 (Friday)

Photo Courtesy of LSU Athletics

Marshall became the third-fastest 60-meter hurdler in NCAA history at 7.86 seconds in Lubbock, Texas, on January 18. She also set the SEC Indoor Track Championship meet record in late February with a time of 7.89 to claim her first ever SEC individual title. Her three best times (7.86 and twice at 7.89) made her only the second woman in NCAA history to have three performances of 7.90 seconds or faster in the 60-meter hurdles. Her 7.86 time was the fifth-best in the world this year as of June 1.

“I’m proud and honored to be the recipient of this award,” Marshall said. “To be named the top female amateur athlete in the state of Louisiana is quite the accomplishment. I wouldn’t be where I’m at without the encouragement of my family, my teammates, and my coaches.”

The Arlington, Texas, product is the fourth LSU women’s track star to earn the Corbett Award since 2000 joining Aleia Hobbs (2018), Kimberlyn Duncan (2011 and 2013) and Peta-Gaye Dowdie (2000). And Marshall earned the honor despite not having the opportunity to win an NCAA Championship – both the 2020 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was a pleasure to see Tonea compete at the level she did this season,” said LSU track and field coach Dennis Shaver. “It goes back to our fall training – she came to practice every day with the mindset of improving, and that’s what she did. She’s a great example of what hard work and dedication will result in. It’s unfortunate that her season had to come to an end prematurely because I believe she would have won national titles indoors and outdoors in the hurdles.”

In addition to the Corbett, Marshall was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association South Central Women’s Track Athlete of the Year and the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Track Athlete of the Year. She was also one of three finalists for the National Women’s Track Athlete of the Year and is in the running for the Bowerman Award, track and field’s equivalent to the Heisman Trophy.

As a junior, Marshall finished third in the 100-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with a time of 12.66 seconds to break an LSU record that had stood for 30 years. She also ran the lead leg on the 4×100 meter relay that placed second at the NCAA Championships with a readout of 42.29.

While 2019-20 was her senior campaign, due to NCAA allowances for COVID-19, she could potentially return to the track for LSU next spring.

Other finalists for the honor included Angela Charles-Alfred, an All-American women’s tennis player from Xavier University; LSU golf star Ingrid Lindblad; and Louisiana Tech soccer record-breaker Autumn Woodard. Charles-Alfred, the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Year, closed the year ranked No. 1 nationally (NAIA) in doubles and No. 10 in singles. Lindblad was the top-ranked golfer in the NCAA in March and finished the abbreviated season at No. 9 after setting the LSU record for lowest scoring average. Woodard set Louisiana Tech single-season records for goals (17) and points (39) en route to being named the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Player of the Year.

The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee began in 1957 when James Collins spearheaded a group of sports journalists to form a sports awards committee to immortalize local sports history. For 13 years, the committee honored local athletes each month. In 1970, the Sugar Bowl stepped in to sponsor and revitalize the committee, leading to the creation of the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame in 1971, honoring 10 legends from the Crescent City in its first induction class. While adding the responsibility of selecting Hall of Famers, the committee has continued to recognize the top amateur athlete in the Greater New Orleans area each month – the honors enter their 64th year in 2020. To be eligible, an athlete must be a native of the greater New Orleans area or must compete for a team in the metropolitan region.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 96 Hall of Fame players, 50 Hall of Fame coaches and 18 Heisman Trophy winners in its 86-year history. The 87th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, which will double as a College Football Playoff Semifinal, is scheduled to be played on January 1, 2021. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1.6 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors over 100,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.7 billion into the local economy in the last decade.