Class of 2002 Profile

July 1, 2002





Margie Yu
Public Affairs Spec.
(323) 343-3047


of Events

Class of 2002
Nicole Duncan: Top Athlete on the Right Track

Cal State L.A.'s Golden Eagle track and field star Nicole Duncan made history recently as the fourth athlete ever to win the NCAA Championship in the 100 and 200 meter dash, and long jump in the same year. In June, she celebrated two important milestones: she graduated with a sociology degree and she received the 2002 Honda Award, a national honor given to the top overall female athlete in NCAA Division II.

In 1998, after a freshman year at Iowa Wesleyan College on scholarship, Nicole Duncan (Los Angeles resident) transferred to Cal State L.A. because she wanted to further her education and her promising track career (and also because she missed the warm weather of her hometown—Kingston, Jamaica). The youngest of six children and the only member of her family who lives in the United States, it took Nicole time to adjust to being on her own, very far from home. After getting through her freshman year in cold midwestern climes, Nicole says, jokingly, she knew she could survive anything.

A sociology major and a Golden Eagle athlete at Cal State L.A., Nicole’s positive, goal-oriented outlook had some spectacular results. She won five national titles this academic year (unprecedented at Cal State L.A.), and was recently notified that she had won the 2002 Honda Award from the nation's athletic directors and senior woman administrators for the top overall female athlete in NCAA Division II. Following that, she was named California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Female Athlete of the Year.

Nicole made history at the May NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships when she became the fourth NCAA athlete ever—regardless of gender or division—to win the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and long jump in the same year. In March, Nicole won both the NCAA indoor 60-meter dash and indoor long jump titles. She also tied the NCAA women's outdoor track and field record for individual championships in a year with her three awards. The only collegiate athlete ever to win more than three outdoor titles in the same year was the great Jesse Owens, who won four in both 1935 and 1936 at Ohio State.

Nicole graduated on June 15, 2002, and concluded her collegiate career as the most decorated track and field athlete in Cal State L.A. history, with a total of eight NCAA individual titles and 14 All-American awards. Interested in social work – especially working with juvenile delinquents – she hopes to be able to give back to the community that supported her. She credits Cal State L.A. for helping her mature as a person. She plans to train for the 2004 Olympics, and hopes to represent her home country of Jamaica.


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