Welcome to the seventh and eighth categories of our Tiger Rag High Five, the best men’s and women’s track and field stars.
A 15-member media panel with a collective 582 years of sports journalism experience picked LSU’s five best athletes, coaches, moments, and individual game and season performances in 21 categories covering all present and past sports.
Voters on the panel were provided information of six to 10 nominees and were asked to rank one through five. The panel voters could also write-in their own candidates.
Scoring was tallied as 5 points for a first-place vote, 4 for second-place, 3 for third-place, 2 for second place and 1 for last-place. Ties were not broken.
Onward we go:
LSU men’s track
LSU’s men track and field has won four NCAA outdoor and two indoor national championships and 23 SEC outdoor and four indoor championships. The Tigers’ women’s track and field teams have won 14 NCAA outdoor and 11 indoor championships and 13 SEC outdoor and 12 indoor championships.
The winner of the best-ever LSU men’s track star is. . .
Xavier Carter 45 points (4 first-place votes)
Xavier Carter flashed through the LSU track and football programs like a comet.
He came to LSU on football scholarship from Melbourne (Fla.) Palm Bay High where he won nine Florida state titles. Not bad for someone who didn’t start training for track seriously until he was 13.
At LSU, he caught nine passes for 204 yards and three TDs in his first two and only seasons. As the 2006 SEC Male Athlete of the Year in his sophomore season, track became his meal ticket.
At the ’06 NCAA outdoor championships, he became the first person since the legendary Jesse Owens in 1935 and 1936 to win four events – the 4X100 and 4X400 relays and the 100 and 400 meter dashes, the latter two which he won 40 minutes apart.
“That was tough,” said Carter, who decided to turn pro after the meet.
2. (TIE) Walter Davis 43 (4)
Won six NCAA titles in two years, 17-0 in triple jump
2. (TIE) Mondo Duplantis 43 (4)
World-class pole vaulter, 2019 SEC Outdoor, Indoor Field Athlete of Year
4. Glen “Slats’ Hardin 31
Twice NCAA champion and Olympic silver (1932) and gold (1936) medalist
5. Bennie Brazell 23 (1)
Five-time national champion, 14-time All-American (most in LSU history) from 2002-2005
The winner of the best-ever LSU women’s track star is. . .
Kimberlyn Duncan 55 (4)
A product of Katy, Texas, outside Houston, Duncan won seven NCAA event championships, 12 SEC event titles and 14 All-America honors in her four seasons with the Tigers from 2010-13.
She became the first sprinter in NCAA history to win three straight NCAA gold medals and did it twice, winning the 200 from 2011-13 at both the NCAA indoor and outdoor Championships.
“What Kim achieved is a much more unique accomplishment than what anybody probably realizes,” LSU coach Dennis Shaver once said. “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.”
Duncan, who won 24 of her last 25 collegiate finals in the 200-meter dash, also captured 2012 Bowerman Trophy as the premier athlete in all of collegiate track and field. She also was a two-time winner of the Honda Sports Award for track and field and SEC Women’s Outdoor Runner of the Year award in 2012 and 2013.
2. Esther Jones 46 (4)
A 21-time All-American sprinter, won Olympic gold medal in 1992
3. Muna Lee 38 (4)
Won seven NCAA titles (four individual), was a 20-time All-American sprinter
4. Lolo Jones (20)
An 11-time All-American and six-time SEC champion hurdler from 2002-04
5. Dawn Sowell 19 (1)
Won six NCAA titles – three each outdoor and indoor – in her only collegiate season (1989)