April 21, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
The finalists have been selected ... the script has been written and the videos produced ... the hosts have rehearsed ... the gold carpet is ready to be rolled out.
Alas, the Golden Pete Awards show is merely days away. The second-annual artful blend of accomplishment and fun, celebrating the achievements of Boilermaker student-athletes, is Sunday, beginning at 7 p.m. Doors to the historic Loeb Playhouse on campus open at 6:15 p.m.
Two Boilermaker fan favorites - former football star Stuart Schweigert (2000-03) and former basketball standout Natalia Bogdanova (2005-09) - will serve as co-hosts for what promises to be an entertaining evening.
In addition to presenting traditional accolades like the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Distinguished Scholar Athlete Award, Varsity Walk Award and Wooden Leadership Institute Certificate of Achievement, Golden Petes will be presented in the following nine categories (with the finalists for each award listed):
Breakout of the Year (presented to that student-athlete who has stepped up and taken a leadership role on his or her team): Whitney Bays, basketball; Ricky Medinilla (tennis), Raheem Mostert, track and field; Maddy Williams, soccer.
Spark Plug Award (presented to that student-athlete who ignites his or her team with emotional leadership): Braden Atwood, wrestling; Carly Cramer, volleyball; KK Houser, basketball; Frankie Williams, football.
Coach of the Year: Pawel Gajdzik, tennis; Lonnie Greene, track and field/cross country; Dave Shondell, volleyball; Adam Soldati, diving.
Comeback of the Year (presented to that squad that had the best come-from-behind win): men's basketball, women's basketball, men's swimming and diving; men's tennis.
Individual Performance, Single Event: Dani Bunch, track and field - third in weight throw and fifth in shot put at NCAA Championships; Casey Matthews, diving - Big Ten champion in 1-meter; Raheem Mostert, track and field - Big Ten champion in 60 meters and 200 meters; Val Nichol, volleyball - triple double vs. Missouri.
Individual Performance, Season - Male: Jamie Bissett, diving; Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, track and field; Matthew McClintock, cross country; Cashé Quiroga, wrestling.
Individual Performance, Season - Female: Dani Bunch, track and field; Courtney Moses, basketball; Val Nichol, volleyball; Andie Varsho, softball.
Team Performance, Single Event: men's basketball beating Indiana, softball beating 10th-ranked Texas, men's tennis beating 16th-ranked Penn State, volleyball beating undefeated Missouri in NCAA Tournament.
Team Performance, Season: men's golf, men's tennis, men's and women's track and field, volleyball.
The audience will pick the winner of each award via text voting after watching video highlights of the finalists.
Six teams also have submitted videos produced entirely by squad members that will be voted on for Best Team Video.
The Big Ten Medal of Honor is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The conference's most exclusive award was the first of its kind in intercollegiate athletics to recognize academic and athletic excellence and is awarded to one male and female student-athlete from the graduating class of each member institution.
The Golden Pete Awards show also serves as a senior sendoff to Purdue student-athletes and those students who are involved in behind-the-scenes roles.
The Golden Pete Awards show is hosted by the John Purdue Club and the Varsity P Club, and it is exclusive to their members.