Duncan a finalist for Sports Illustrated award

LSU track and field star Kimberlyn Duncan has been selected as one of five finalists for the 2012-13 Sports Illustrated College Athlete of the Year, it was announced Wednesday by the magazine.

The award will honor one female and one male collegiate student-athlete who have achieved athletic distinction and have had an outsized impact in the classroom or in their communities.

Chosen by a group of SI editors, the 10 men’s and women’s finalists represent 10 different sports. Included are a four-sport athlete and multiple NCAA champions.

“We surveyed the nation’s campuses, scouring gyms and stadiums, labs and lecture halls, in search of the beau ideal of the well-rounded college athlete,” SI senior writer Alexander Wolff writes in a College Athlete of the Year introduction essay.

“We sought out head-turning sporting achievement, to be sure, but we also looked for jocks who made an outsized impact in the classroom, the community or some non-athletic extracurricular pursuit.”

In addition to Duncan, the women’s finalists are Oregon’s Liz Brenner (volleyball, basketball, softball, track and field), Baylor’s Brittney Griner (basketball), North Carolina’s Loren Shealy (field hockey) and Northwestern’s Taylor Thornton (lacrosse).

Men’s finalists are Michigan’s Trey Burke (basketball), Cornell’s Kyle Dake (wrestling), USC’s Khaled Holmes (football), St. Cloud State’s Drew LeBlanc (hockey) and Duke’s Tyler Thornton (basketball).

Fans can vote for their favorite athletes at SI.com. The male and female winners will be featured in the May 27 issue of Sports Illustrated, which hits newsstands May 22.