NEW ORLEANS – Alia Armstrong, a star hurdler for the LSU track and field team, has been selected as the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s James J. Corbett Award winner as the top female amateur athlete in the state of Louisiana.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, selects annual award winners in a variety of categories; it also selects Amateur Athletes of the Month and each year’s Hall of Fame class.
Armstrong and 25 other individuals and four teams will be honored for their 2021-22 achievements at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Awards Banquet on July 30.
Armstrong made her Allstate Sugar Bowl “debut” in March of 2019 when, as a senior at St. Katherine Drexel High School in New Orleans, she dominated the Allstate Sugar Bowl Track & Field Classic. She shattered the meet record in the 100-meter hurdles and also won the 400-meter dash to earn Most Outstanding Track Athlete recognition.
Armstrong captured the NCAA national championship in the 100-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on June 11. Her time of 12.57 seconds in rainy conditions landed LSU its first 100-meter hurdle title since 2000.
“I have always had the mindset that I can do anything, so I don’t want to say it was unexpected, but it was still overwhelming,” Armstrong said of winning the national championship. “It was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I did it, my hard work paid off.’”
Armstrong followed up her NCAA Championship performance by placing third in the 100 hurdles at the United States Track & Field Championships (all athletes, including professionals) to earn a slot on Team USA for the World Athletics Championships. She posted a time of 12.47 seconds to earn her spot on the national team.
This past weekend, she was sensational the World Championships and placed fourth with a time of 12.31, which shattered her personal-best time.
“When I signed with LSU, Coach Shaver (LSU head coach Dennis Shaver) told me that he could not only take me to the national stage, but also the world stage,” she said. “My goal has always been to make it to that next level – to the world stage and [hopefully] the Olympic stage.”
Since her high school days, when she was a nine-time state champion in addition to her Sugar Bowl success, Armstrong has steadily built her speed and accomplishments. As a freshman for the Tigers in 2020, she took fifth place at the SEC Indoor Championships in the 60-meter hurdles. Her season-best time of 7.95 seconds was the third-best in LSU history.
In her second year at LSU, she qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 100-meter hurdles and was a finalist in the same event at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Her time of 12.65 seconds at the Trials was the second-best in LSU history.
This year, she reached the collegiate pinnacle with a wind-aided time of 12.33 at the Texas Relays in March, the fastest time in collegiate history under all conditions.
In May, Armstrong won the SEC Championship in the 100-meter hurdles with a slightly wind-aided time of 12.46 seconds while also running a leg of the Tigers’ winning 4×100 relay team.
At the NCAA Eastern Preliminaries, Armstrong posted a 100-meter hurdle time of 12.82 seconds to lock up her slot in the national finals. She also was part of LSU’s 4×100 relay team which posted a time of 42.98 seconds to advance to nationals.
And then she earned her first NCAA Championship while also helping the Tigers to a fourth-place finish in the 4×100 relay. Those accomplishments, as well as the national team nod, not only made her a lock for the Corbett Award, but she was also recognized as the Sugar Bowl’s Greater New Orleans Female Amateur Athlete of the Year and as the Sugar Bowl’s Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month for June.
“Winning an award from my home city means the world to me because New Orleans is where my foundation was built,” she said. “That’s where I was made into the young woman I am today. It blows my mind how everything is coming together.”