Lady Tiger junior Kimberlyn Duncan made history Friday as the first two-time finalist for The Bowerman as the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced its three men and three women still in the running for the most coveted individual award in college track and field.
Duncan's selection as a repeat finalist for The Bowerman came as no surprise after ending her junior year as a three-time NCAA champion, a collegiate record holder and the top individual point scorer at the 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
Duncan was the catalyst in the Lady Tigers winning the program's 32nd national championship by scoring 20.5 of the team's 76 points during the four-day meet at Drake Stadium.
This year's winners of The Bowerman will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 19, in conjunction with the USTFCCCA Convention in Orlando, Fla. Each finalist will be invited to take part in the ceremony.
Now in its fourth year of existence, The Bowerman is college track and field's equivalent to The Heisman Trophy in college football and is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the top athlete at the collegiate level on both the men's and women's sides as part of the USTFCCCA annual convention.
A native of Katy, Texas, Duncan is a leading contender to claim The Bowerman with her performance for the 2012 season as she is a finalist on the women's side along with Oregon's senior heptathlete Brianne Theisen and Arizona's junior high jumper Brigetta Barrett. Men's finalists include Southern Utah distance runner Cam Levins, Florida sprinter Tony McQuay and Illinois hurdler Andrew Riley.
Finalists were selected by The Bowerman Advisory Board, which is a 10-personal panel of experts for the sport. Selections were made based on performances from the 2012 indoor and outdoor seasons. Only such performances through the NCAA Outdoor Championships were considered when selecting finalists.
The winners of The Bowerman will be chosen by a panel consisting of dozens of media members, college administrators and track and field statisticians and will be announced on Dec. 19.
Fans will also have the opportunity to cast their vote for Duncan as the winner of the award starting July 9 by logging on to TheBowerman.org. Online voting will account for one full vote in the process.
"It's truly an honor to be considered for an award like this," Duncan said. "I'm very humbled to be picked as a finalist again this year. I'm fortunate to train with my great coaches and teammates at LSU 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. I feel like I've come a long way to this point in my career.
"And I know I wouldn't be where I am today without my family. They've supported me and helped me to get to where I am today. I'm blessed to have them in my life. They are here with me at the Olympic Trials this weekend, so it's very special to me to be able to share this moment with them."
Duncan has emerged as the frontrunner for The Bowerman, as she has already been announced the winner of the Honda Sports Award for women's track and field by the Collegiate Women's Sports Awards and as the NCAA Division I National Women's Track Athlete of the Year by the USTFCCCA in 2012.
Duncan was the top scoring athlete of the NCAA Championships for the second season in a row with 20.5 points with her performance in defending her NCAA crown in the 200-meter dash, running the anchor leg for LSU's NCAA champion 4x100-meter relay team and capturing the silver medal in the 100-meter dash in the NCAA final as the country's most decorated sprinter for the second year in a row.
That helped propel the LSU women to a dominating 76-62 victory over the Oregon Ducks in the women's team standings to win their first NCAA Outdoor team title since the 2008 season.
It has been a record-breaking junior season for Duncan as she twice broke her own low-altitude collegiate record in the 200-meter dash as one of the world's leading sprinters.
After setting a wind-legal personal record of 22.22 seconds in the national quarterfinals held at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds in Jacksonville, Fla., on May 26, Duncan eclipsed her own record for the second time in as many races with a wind-legal 22.19 clocking in the national semifinal en route to defending her NCAA 200-meter crown on Saturday afternoon at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
Her personal-record time of 22.19 stands No. 2 on the NCAA's all-time list as it trails only the recognized collegiate record of 22.04 set at altitude by LSU great Dawn Sowell at the 1989 NCAA Championships in Provo, Utah, on the campus of Brigham Young University.
Duncan's time of 22.19 also ranks her No. 2 on the world list for the 2012 outdoor season. She also set an indoor PR of 22.74 for the world's fastest run indoors while defending her NCAA Indoor crown.
Duncan has made history as the first collegiate sprinter to sweep NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor titles in the 200-meter dash in back-to-back seasons with her performance in 2011 and 2012. She's also the first Lady Tiger to win back-to-back NCAA Outdoor gold medals in the event in team history.
She also extended one of the more impressive streaks in collegiate history with her 18th-straight victory in 200-meter finals against collegiate competition dating back to the Tyson Invitational indoors in 2011.
With her performance this spring, Duncan now owns five of the 10 fastest 200-meter times all-time at the collegiate level under all conditions. Duncan has now posted the No. 3-ranked time at 22.12w, No. 4-ranked time at 22.18w, No. 5-ranked time at 22.19, No. 6-ranked time at 22.22 and No. 10-ranked time at 22.24 in the NCAA's all-time rankings during her illustrious career.
Not to be overshadowed is Duncan's performance in anchoring the Lady Tigers to a national crown in the 4x100-meter relay and finishing as the NCAA silver medalist in the 100-meter dash for the second year in a row. She anchored the Lady Tigers for a winning time of 42.75 in the sprint relay final, while she posted a time of 11.16 into a strong headwind of 1.7 meters per second for second in the 100-meter final.
Duncan teamed with Takeia Pinckney, Semoy Hackett and Rebecca Alexander for a seasonal-best time of 42.68 in the national semifinal for the ninth-fastest time in collegiate history.
Duncan propelled herself to a dominant postseason with a record-setting performance at the SEC Outdoor Championships as she shattered the meet record with a wind-legal PR of 10.96 to take home her first ever SEC title in the 100-meter dash. Her time not only broke the previous meet record of 11.03 set in 2006 by Olympic silver medalist Kerron Stewart of Auburn, but also shattered her own personal record and Bernie Moore Track Stadium record of 11.07 set earlier in the 2012 season.
While she currently ranks No. 2 on the 2012 world list with a best of 22.19 in the 200 meters, Duncan has the No. 6-ranked time worldwide in the 100 meters with her personal best of 10.96.
Not only has Duncan claimed three NCAA event titles in 2012, but she is also a five-time SEC Champion with wins in both the 200 meters and 4x400-meter relay at the SEC Indoor Championships along with her sweep of sprint titles in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4x100 relay at the SEC Outdoor Championships.