Louisiana Tech, Tulane, Northwestern State and Southeastern also had athletes honored in voting by the state’s track and field sports information directors. Voters could not choose athletes from their own schools.
The LSWA also released its list of the top three times or distances in outdoor events this year that serves as the All-Louisiana team.
Winning special honors for LSU on the women’s side were Kimberlyn Duncan (track athlete of the year) and Dennis Shaver (coach of the year). On the men’s side, Barrett Nugent was the track athlete of the year and Damar Forbes was the field athlete of the year. Aaron Ernest was the freshman of the year and Shaver was the coach of the year.
Nugent, a senior, was a three-time NCAA All-American in 2012, taking an NCAA title as part of the Tigers’ NCAA champion 4x100 relay while also taking third in the 60 meter hurdles indoor. In that final, he broke his own school record with a time of 7.55. He also earned All-American honors outdoors with his fourth place in the final of the outdoor championships. Nugent is the first Tiger to win three straight SEC titles in the 110 hurdles.
Louisiana Tech’s Chelsea Hayes was the women’s field athlete of the year. Tulane’s Estefany Cruz and Northwestern’s Ashley Aldredge tied in votes for women’s freshman of the year. Southeastern’s Jeff Milliron was the men’s newcomer of the year for non-freshmen.
Duncan was a three-time NCAA champion in 2012 and the Southeastern co-women’s outdoor track athlete of the year. She had a best of 22.19 seconds in the 200 meters at the NCAA semifinals. She is the first Lady Tiger to win back-to-back outdoor titles in the 200 and the first sprinter to sweep indoor and outdoor championships in back-to-back seasons. The junior also anchored the Lady Tigers to the title in the NCAA 4x100 relay.
Forbes took second in the NCAA indoor and outdoor meets with bests of 26 feet, 7¾ inches indoors and 26-8¼ outdoors. he also was the long jump runner-up at the SEC indoor and SEC outdoor meets.
Ernest was one of the NCAA’s top freshman sprinters with bests of 10.15 in the 100 and 20.39 in the 200. He was the only freshman to qualify for the finals in the 100 and 200 meters at the NCAA outdoors. He was fifth in the 200 and eighth in the 100 to earn All-American honors. He was a member of LSU’s 4x100 relay.
Shaver led LSU to the NCAA women’s outdoor championship and the LSU men to a second place finish outdoors. The women also won the SEC outdoor title and he was named SEC Women’s Outdoor Coach of the Year and the USTFCCCA South Central Region Women’s Head Coach of the Year. The Lady Tigers’ national title was their 15th outdoor title.
In winning women’s field honors, Louisiana Tech’s Hayes finished third in the long jump at the NCAA meet, the only time all season she did not win a long jump competition. She set school and WAC records in long jump with a mark of 21-10¼. She is also a member of two All-Louisiana relays.
Tulane’s Cruz, competing in the triple jump, earning honorable mention All-American honors indoors. She had the third best triple jump in the state at 42-1¼.
Aldredge ranked No. 17 nationally in the javelin, with a best of 166-0, second best in the state. She won the Southland Conference.
Milliron earned newcomer honors after transferring from SUNY Cobleskill. The sophomore placed third in the discus at the SLC meet with a throw of 181-11, second best in the state. He was also named the SLC men’s outdoor track and field newcomer of the year. He was also sixth in the shot put (51-1¾) and ninth in the hammer throw (160-0).