Jan. 17, 2014
By Tom Schott
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue track and field plays host to a dual with Indiana at 2 p.m. Saturday at Lambert Fieldhouse. The Boilermakers are coming off an impressive showing at the Gene Edmonds Invitational, after which sophomore Chukwuebuka Enekwechi was named the USTFCCCA Division I Male National Athlete of the Week and the Big Ten Male Field Athlete of the Week. Enekwechi broke his own school record in the weight throw with a mark of 22.25 meters (73 feet). It ranks as the nation's best throw and third-best in the world. He also had a personal best in the shot put at 18.87 meters (61-11), which ranks fourth in school history, eighth in the country this year and 20th in the world.
On the women's side, senior Dani Bunch won both of those events, as well, to earn Big Ten Female Field Athlete of the Week honors. She captured the weight throw title at 21.07 meters (69-1.50) to rank fourth in the world this year and the shot put with a school-record effort of 16.92 meters (55-6.25) that ranks eighth in the world. Bunch owns the top performances nationally in both events.
The women's team is ranked No. 17 in the country, its first top 25 appearance and highest ranking since 2008. The men's squad is No. 32. In dual meet rankings, the women are eighth, while the men are No. 10.
Four More Big Ten Honors for Swimmers, Divers
For the second straight week, four members of Purdue swimming and diving were recognized with Big Ten weekly awards, highlighted by senior Carly Mercer's third Swimmer of the Week honor of the season. Along with Mercer, junior Jamie Bissett and sophomore Michelle Cabassol swept the Diver of the Week awards. Meagan Lim repeated as the Female Freshman of the Week. Together, Bissett, Cabassol, Lim and Mercer teamed up for 12 individual event victories during Purdue's back-to-back home dual meets last weekend against Michigan and Michigan State.
Mercer is the first Purdue woman to win Big Ten Swimmer of the Week honors three times in the same season since the Big Ten switched from a monthly to weekly format in 1998-99.
The 18th-ranked women are 7-0 overall, 4-0 in the Big Ten. They return to action Jan. 25 at No. 11 Indiana. Nine members of the men's team (5-2, 3-2 Big Ten) will compete this weekend at the Classic @ SMU. The entire squad is back in action Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at the Big Ten Triple Duals at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center.
Purdue-Indiana Square off Tonight in Women's Hoops
The postponed Jan. 6 women's basketball game between No. 22 Purdue (11-5, 1-3 Big Ten) and Indiana (14-2, 1-2) will be played tonight at 7 at Mackey Arena. The intrastate rivals will play for the Barn Burner Trophy and a point in the Governor's Cup in their lone regular-season meeting of 2013-14. The Boilermakers have won 16 of the 20 Barn Burner Trophy meetings, including 13 of the last 15. Furthermore, Purdue has been victorious in 48 of the last 57 matchups against the Hoosiers, dating to 1986.
On Sunday, the Boilermakers visit No. 18 Nebraska (13-3, 3-1 Big Ten).
Men's Basketball Continues Illinois Dominance
With its 66-58 victory at Illinois on Wednesday, the men's basketball team (12-5, 2-2 Big Ten) now has won nine of the last 10 meetings against the Fighting Illini. The Boilermakers have won back-to-back conference games and look to make it three in a row when Penn State (9-9, 0-5) visits Mackey Arena at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Other Three-Day Weekend Action
No. 27 women's tennis resumes competition today through Sunday with the Purdue Invite on Basham Courts at the Schwartz Tennis Center ... No. 20 wrestling (3-4, 0-4 Big Ten) takes a break from conference action with matches against Northern Illinois and Ashland College on Sunday in Ashland, Ohio ... Men's tennis plays host to Toledo at 1 p.m. Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It's Campus Kids Day, with children who are in eighth grade and under invited to participate in a free tennis clinic following the match (approximately 3:45 or 4 p.m. depending on match length). The children will work with the men's team, head coach Pawel Gajdzik and assistant coach Matija Zgaga. The clinic will last about 45 minutes.
Students Asked to Participate in Suits and Sneakers Awareness
As part of its pro-social initiative BTN LiveBIG, the BTN will join the American Cancer Society in the support of Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend from Jan. 24 to 26, when coaches wear sneakers with their suits during games to raise awareness of the fight against cancer.
BTN is televising games at Northwestern, Purdue, Indiana and Nebraska that weekend and is encouraging students on each campus to wear suits and sneakers to the games. The university with the most students "suited up" will receive a $10,000 donation to the school's Relay for Life Initiative, which raises funds for cancer research.
Students wearing a suit will need to visit a specially designated check-in station at their home arena before the second half of the game in order to be counted.
Purdue plays host to Wisconsin on Jan. 25 at 5 p.m. Students looking for more information on participating in Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend can call 800-227-2345, or click here.
Mobile Ticketing Available
A reminder to Boilermaker fans that when you purchase tickets to a home event, you have the option to receive mobile delivery. To date, more than 1,800 buyers have chosen this option for men's basketball, women's basketball, football and volleyball. To learn more, click here.
The volleyball team, which advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament and was ranked eighth in the final national poll, will hold its awards banquet tonight, honoring seniors Carly Cramer, Rachel Davis, Hilliary Fox, Katie Griffin and Catherine Rebarchak ... Women's basketball senior Courtney Moses was named as a semifinalist for the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup, presented annually to two distinguished athletes - one collegiate and one professional - who have made the greatest difference in the lives of others ... Congratulations to Dan Ross, PGA Head Professional at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex, for being named recipient of the inaugural PGA Player Development Award by the Indiana PGA. The award is presented for extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of player development ... The Purdue spirit squad is donating its gold Purdue flag for display in the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. According to coach Steve Solberg, the flag is at least 10 years old. The squad unveiled a new flag at Sunday's men's basketball game against Nebraska ... John Markiewicz has been hired as the new general manager of Purdue's ticket sales and service team, a partnership with Collegiate Consulting. He comes to the Boilermakers from the New York Mets and starts Jan. 21.