Vantiel Elizabeth Duncan, Bates College
It would be hard to imagine a busier college student than Vantiel Elizabeth Duncan. A member of the Bates College women's indoor and outdoor track and field teams for the past four years, Duncan finished her career as the second-most decorated track and field female athlete ever, including six All-America and seven All-NESCAC honors.
Duncan was equally impressive away from the throwing circle in her time at Bates. She majored in politics with minors in Chinese and music and achieved a grade point average of 3.39. She was recognized as NESCAC All-Academic four out of a possible four times, was named to the USTFCCCA Women's All-Academic Track & Field Team twice, and earned CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District I Second Team honors in 2008 and 2010. Between her academic and athletic endeavors, Duncan somehow managed to find the time to also be a leader on her campus and in the local community. Duncan served as class president, was a member of the student affairs trustees' committee, and participated in the student organization review board over all four of her years at Bates. She also worked in a variety of offices on campus, including the registrar, student financial services, advancement, admissions, and the athletics department. Duncan spun tunes at the student radio station, played in the Bates orchestra and was a member of the concert choir, tutored others in Chinese and music theory, and organized, promoted, and taught a two-day clinic for local youths on throwing techniques during her time in Lewiston. In 2009, Duncan worked for the office of Olympia Snowe, the senior U.S. Senator for Maine, and assisted U.S. Representative Arthur Davis' campaign for governor in his home state of Alabama.
"They're all things that I love, and if I have the opportunity, and I can manage my time well, then why shouldn't I grab it?" Duncan explained.
Duncan won the shot put for the third year in a row and added her first conference crown in the hammer throw at the 2010 NESCAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships on April 24, then claimed both events at the New England Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships in May. Earlier this year, Duncan's three-peat performance in winning both the shot and the weight throw at the New England Indoor Track & Field Championships earned her Regional Field Athlete of the Year from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). She went on to finish second in the weight toss and seventh in the shot put at the national indoor championships. All told, Duncan has been honored as All-ECAC 11 times and All-New England on 10 occasions in addition to her All-America and All-NESCAC honors throughout her career.