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Hackett, Baptiste Honored in Trinidad & Tobago

by Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
Hackett, Baptiste Honored in Trinidad & Tobago

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – International sprint star and Lady Tiger alum Kelly Baptiste and LSU senior Semoy Hackett were honored by their fellow countrymen on the night of Dec. 28 as the Ministry of Sport in Trinidad & Tobago held its inaugural Spirit of Sport Awards at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Baptiste was chosen as her nation’s premier female athlete for 2011 as the recipient of the Female Athlete of the Year and Sport Performance of the Year awards during the ceremony.

Baptiste also joined Hackett as a recipient of Team of the Year award last week as each were members of Trinidad’s 4×100-meter relay team at the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Athletics.

A two-time NCAA champion and 14-time All-American during her collegiate career with the Lady Tigers from 2005-08, Baptiste emerged as one of the world’s leading sprinters with her performance during the 2011 season as she claimed her first international medal with a bronze-medal winning third-place effort in the 100-meter dash at the World Championships held in Daegu, South Korea, this past summer.

She also broke the 11-second barrier in the 100 meters on five occasions in 2011, including a top effort of 10.90 seconds in her season finale in Brussels, Belgium, on Sept. 16. Baptiste ended the year as the No. 5-ranked performer worldwide in the 100-meter dash with her performance.

Baptiste and Hackett joined Kai Selvon and Michelle Lee Ahye at the World Championships in shattering the Trinidad & Tobago national record in the 4×100-meter relay en route to a fourth-place finish.

The relay team won its semifinal race at the World Championships with a blistering effort of 42.50 before taking fourth place in the final with a time of 42.58. Baptiste and Hackett nearly earned a spot on the medal podium as they finished just .07 seconds behind third place in the sprint relay final.