Bunch, Mostert Earn Big Ten Awards

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Dani Bunch won seven medals at the indoor Big Ten Championships during her career.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Dani Bunch won seven medals at the indoor Big Ten Championships during her career.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

March 4, 2014

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Big Ten Conference released its award winners for the 2014 indoor track and field season Tuesday afternoon. The Boilermakers picked up an honor on the men’s and women’s sides.

Raheem Mostert was named the Big Ten Track Athlete of the Championships after winning the 60- and 200-meter dashes on Saturday. The junior, two-sport star set the school record in the 60m with a time of 6.63 seconds. He followed that up just over an hour later with a time of 20.73 seconds to break the Big Ten Championships record in the 200m and take gold, and eventually ran the final leg for the Boilermakers’ sixth-place 4x400m relay team.

Mostert is the third Purdue male to win Big Ten Athlete of the Championships honors and second two-sport Boilermaker to get the nod. Jon Pullum earned Big Ten Field Athlete of the Championships in 2008 and former gridiron star Rod Woodson was Big Ten Athlete of the Championships in 1987, before the award was split for track athletes and field athletes.

Mostert is the first Purdue men’s track and field athlete to win an indoor conference championship in two events for his career, let alone one season. The last Boilermaker to win two gold medals is Rickey Pinkney who won the Big Ten 60m hurdles championship in 2005, 2006 and 2007. He is also the first Big Ten trackster to win the 60m and 200m dashes at the same championships since 2009 when Michigan’s Adam Harris pulled of the feat.

The New Smyrna Beach, Fla., native was also named the team’s Sportsmanship Award honoree.

On the women’s side, Dani Bunch was named the Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year. The senior thrower adds the honor to the Field Athlete of the Championships award she won in 2012 after recording identical finishes as this year, first in the weight throw, second in the shot put. Bunch is the second Boilermaker woman to earn the Big Ten Athlete of the Year, joining jumper Leah Eber who won the Field Athlete of the Year award in 2012.


 

 

In the regular season, Bunch went 13 for 13 in terms of events entered and events won. The Mahomet, Ill., native won the Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week award six times this season, a record for Big Ten women’s field athletes. Bunch won the award four consecutive weeks from Jan. 13 to Feb. 3, which tied her for the conference record for most consecutive Big Ten weekly awards with Ohio State’s Christina Manning. Bunch’s awards, though, are the most in a row by a field athlete. The fifth-year senior broke the school record in the shot put and weight throw numerous times throughout the year, with top distances of 17.19m (56-4.75) and 22.35m (73-4), respectively. Her shot put distance is fourth in the country and best in the Big Ten, while her weight throw distance is third nationally and the No. 1 mark in the conference.

Bunch was also named the women’s team’s Sportsmanship Award honoree.

Mostert and Bunch continue their seasons, along with Cierra Brown and Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, with the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships next weekend. The championships, held in Albuquerque, N.M., run March 14 and 15. A full list of the conference awards can be found below.

­Men

Track Athlete of the Year
Reed Connor, Wisconsin

Field Athlete of the Year
Michael Lihrman, Wisconsin

Freshman of the Year
Donovan Robertson, Ohio State

Track Athlete of the Championships
Raheem Mostert, Purdue

Field Athlete of the Championships
Michael Lihrman, Wisconsin

Coach of the Year
Mick Byrne, Wisconsin

 

Women

Track Athlete of the Year
Cindy Ofili, Michigan

Field Athlete of the Year
Dani Bunch, Purdue

Freshman of the Year
Erin Finn, Michigan

Track Athlete of the Championships
Kiah Seymour, Penn State

Field Athlete of the Championships
Tori Franklin, Michigan State

Coach of the Year

Beth Alford-Sullivan, Penn State