March 31, 1999
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Toyinda Smith (Gary, Ind., Lew Wallace H.S.) and Jason Silverstein (Ramsey, N.J., Blair Academy) have been named Purdue's Athletes-of-the-Month for their outstanding performances throughout March. The award is sponsored by WLFI-TV and Twin City Dodge-Chrysler-Plymouth.
Smith, a senior on the women's track and field team, won the national championship in the 20-pound weight throw at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships on March 5-6 in Indianapolis. Ranked fourth entering the meet, she broke conference and school records with a winning throw of 68' 8-3/4". Smith's throw was the fifth-best ever by an American collegiate competitor and gave Purdue its first national champion since Corissa Yasen in 1996. A two-time Big Ten champion in the 20-pound weight throw, Smith became the first thrower in Purdue history to earn All-America acclaim by placing fourth at last year's NCAA Championships.
Silverstein, a redshirt freshman on the wrestling team, became Purdue's ninth All-American of the 1990s and 42nd overall by placing eighth in the 125-pound weight class at the 69th annual NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on March 18-20 at Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center. He became an All-American despite having to medically forfeit his last two matches due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Silverstein finished the season with a 34-10 record, placing him 11th in school history in season victories. Silverstein qualified for the NCAA Championships by placing fifth at the Big Ten Championships on March 6-7.