May 23, 2014
By Tom Schott
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The men's golf team tees off at 8:40 a.m. CT today at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., for the opening round of the NCAA Championships.
The 48th-ranked Boilermakers finished third among 14 teams at last week's NCAA Central Regional to advance to the NCAA's for the first time since 2005. It marks the 27th time in school history that Purdue has reached the championship tournament, but just the fifth time since 1981.
Thirty teams will compete for the national title. The squads will play 54 holes (18 holes each today through Sunday), with the top eight scoring teams advancing to match play competition beginning Tuesday. On Monday, the top 40 individuals will vie for NCAA medalist honors.
Yesterday, senior Adam Schenk, junior Enzo Perez and freshman Austin Eoff were named to the 25-member All-Midwest Regional team. Purdue's three honorees were tied with Iowa for the second-most in the region behind NCAA Central Regional champion Illinois' four selections.
Boilermakers Capture Governor's Cup
A strong showing by its spring sports teams propelled Purdue to the inaugural Indiana National Guard Governor's Cup championship.
In the all-sports competition against intrastate rival Indiana, the Boilermakers prevailed 12-8, after placing higher on both the men's and women's sides of the Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships that concluded Sunday. Purdue's track and field squads also both earned points during the indoor season.
The series was deadlocked at 6-apiece after Purdue won the lone men's basketball meeting of the season 82-64. Indiana then took a one-point lead with a 5-2 victory in women's tennis.
But then the Boilermakers scored six of the final seven points for their first title since 2006-07.
Track and Field Teams Shine at B1G Championships
The women's track and field team finished third and the men's squad was fifth at the Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which Purdue hosted last weekend. For the women, it marked their best showing since 2001 and for the men, their best since 2009.
Both squads had strong performances in the meet's final event - the 4x400-meter relay - to move up in the standings. The quartet of senior Taylor Morrison, sophomore Aarin Jones, senior Kari Shoolbraid and senior BreAnna Smith finished second in a time of 3:34.81 that broke a 27-year-old school record and enabled the team to climb from sixth place to third with 89 points, 52 more than last year.
Then the foursome of freshman Obokhare Ikpefan, senior Andrew Kendrick, senior Andre Peart and junior Raheem Mostert clocked a 3:09.49 to finish fourth and push the team from sixth place to fifth (a mere point behind fourth-place Ohio State) with 79 points, 43 more than a year ago.
Over the three-day event, the Boilermakers captured four Big Ten championships: sophomore Chukwuebuka Enekwechi (hammer throw), senior Nikki Nunn (long jump) and Mostert (100 meters and 200 meters). Mostert's title in the 200 meters marked the 400th individual crown in school history.
Purdue will have 29 entries (16 on the men's side and 13 on the women's side) in the NCAA East Preliminary Round that runs May 29 to 31 in Jacksonville, Fla. That number is up from last year's 19 entries. The entrants will aim for a shot at qualifying for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.
Bunch, Mostert Earn B1G Honors
After second-place finishes in the hammer throw and the shot put, senior Dani Bunch was named Big Ten Female Field Athlete of the Championships. She also was named Big Ten Female Field Athlete of the Year.
The two honors complete the sweep of conference awards for Bunch. She won the Big Ten Field Athlete of the Championships for the 2012 indoor meet and earned the Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year award for the 2013-14 indoor season.
Meanwhile, Raheem Mostert was tabbed the Big Ten Male Track Athlete of the Championships after his victories in the 100 meters and 200 meters. He earned the same honor during the indoor season.
Varsho Named First Team Academic All-American
Senior Andie Varsho of the softball team has been recognized for her success in the classroom by being named a first team Capital One Academic All-American. She is just the second Purdue softball player to earn first team honors, following Jenny Schoen in 1998.
Varsho is the first two-time Academic All-American in program history after being a third team selection in 2013. The organizational leadership and supervision major will graduate in August.
Varsho is the Boilermakers' career leader in batting average and hits and ranks second in runs, doubles, on-base percentage and stolen bases. She is in the running for NFCA All-America honors, which will be announced May 28.
Quiroga Receives Student-Athlete Achievement Award
Wrestler Cashé Quiroga has been named a 2014 recipient of the prestigious National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A) Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award, honoring the Boilermaker for overcoming great personal, academic and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in intercollegiate athletics. Quiroga, who recently graduated with a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership and supervision, will be recognized at the N4A National Convention in Orlando, Fla., on June 7. You can read all about the recognition here.
Congratulations to former football player Dave Butz on his election to the College Football Hall of Fame ... Junior Daniela Vidal of the women's tennis team has received the Ohio Valley Region Intercollegiate Tennis Association/Arthur Ashe Jr. Collegiate Award for Leadership & Sportsmanship. Vidal is one of 12 regional winners, who along with at-large nominees, now will be considered for the National ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Collegiate Award for Leadership & Sportsmanship honor. Read more about why she was honored here ... Junior Robert Kugler has been named to the spring watch list for the 2014 Rimington Trophy, presented annually to the nation's top center. Kugler took over as Purdue's center in 2013, starting all 12 games. He is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, a 2013 CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree and was named the 2013 Offensive Most Valuable Player for the Boilermakers ... Women's basketball coach Sharon Versyp has agreed to a contract extension that secures her presence on the Boilermaker sideline through the 2019-20 season ... Two former football players now in the National Football League were awarded their degrees last weekend as part of Purdue commencement exercises - quarterback Kyle Orton (history) and offensive tackle Dennis Kelly (organizational leadership and supervision) ... Tracking the Boilermakers will return June 6 ... Have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.