Jan. 13, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Chukwuebuka Enekwechi was named the USTFCCCA Division I Male National Athlete of the Week on Monday afternoon. The announcement came just hours after the sophomore thrower was tabbed the Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week. The USTFCCCA also released its Preseason Division I National Team Computer rankings on Monday afternoon and the Purdue women are one of just two Big Ten teams ranked in the top 25.
Enekwechi opened Saturday afternoon with the weight throw. On his fifth attempt, the sophomore broke the Purdue school record and Lambert Fieldhouse facility record with a mark of 22.25m (73-00.00). The mark beats Enekwechi’s own program mark of 22.19m (72-09.50) which he threw at the Mastodon Opener last month. His throw from the weekend is the nation’s best by 9.5 inches.
In the shot put, Enekwechi also threw a personal record, as he won the event with a mark of 18.87m (61-11.00). That distance moves him up to fourth place on the all-time Purdue list and is also the eighth-best throw in the country this year.
Enekwechi earned the Division I men's national award alongside. Thea LaFond of Maryland picked up the Division I women's award, while Daneko Brown of Southwest Baptist and Tiffany Okieme of Georgian Court were Division II honorees. Michael Bennett of Chicago and Katie McMenamin of Swarthmore picked up the Division III awards.
The Purdue women earned the No. 17 spot in the initial national polls. The Michigan Wolverines are the only other team from the Big Ten in the rankings as they come in at No. 13. The top-25 ranking for the Boilermaker women is the first in a half decade, as Purdue finished the 2008 season tied for 22nd in the nation. The No. 17 ranking is the highest ranking since the first rankings of 2008 when the Purdue women were No. 15 in the week one poll.
The Purdue men’s team just missed the top 25 and is ranked No. 32 to start the season. Full rankings for men and women can be found here.
The Boilermakers return to action on Saturday with the Purdue/Indiana Dual. The event is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. inside Lambert Fieldhouse.