Senior thrower Dani Bunch and junior sprinter and running back Raheem Mostert have been named Purdue’s Athletes of the Year for the 2013-14 school year. They were selected by a vote of the athletics department administrators from a list consisting of each sport’s Most Valuable Player or similar designee.
Bunch (Mahomet, Ill.) and Mostert (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.) will now represent the Boilermakers in the voting for the Big Ten Conference Athlete of the Year awards. The Big Ten winners will be voted on by a panel of conference media members and announced on the Big Ten Network on Monday, June 23.
Purdue’s last Big Ten Athlete of the Year winners were diver David Boudia in 2011 and golfer Maria Hernandez in 2009.
Bunch and Mostert complete the first track and field sweep of the awards since 1989 when Jamie McNeair, an All-American in the heptathlon, and Brian Kiser, a shot put specialist, were honored. Mostert is the second men’s track and field athlete in a row to be honored, after All-American high jumper Geoff Davis won last year. Bunch is the first female track and field star to receive the award since 2002 when thrower and Big Ten javelin champion Serene Ross won.
Mostert is the fifth track and field athlete to be selected the Purdue Male Athlete of the Year, joining Davis (2013), Kiser (1989), Rod Woodson (1987) and Alvin McNair (1983). Woodson and McNair, like Mostert, were also two-sport athletes who competed in football in the fall. Bunch is the ninth female winner to come from the track and field program, joining Ross (2002), Corissa Yasen (1995, 1996), McNeair (1989, 1990), Cathey Tyree (1987) and Yvonne Netterville (1985).
During the 2013-14 school year, Bunch was a three-time First Team All-American, with a third place finish in the weight throw and fifth in the shot put during the indoor season, and a fifth place finish in the shot put at the outdoor NCAA Championships over the weekend. Bunch scored all 10 of the Purdue women’s points at the NCAA meet during the indoor season, good for 19th place in the country, and all four at the outdoor meet, which earned the women’s team a tie for 47th place.
Bunch won the Big Ten championship in the weight throw in March, the third of her career, to become the first Big Ten woman to win three weight throw titles in her career. The fifth-year senior was runner-up in the Big Ten in the shot put, indoors and out, and also scored in the hammer throw with a second place finish. She was named the Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year for the indoor season and swept the Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year and Big Ten Field Athlete of the Championships for the outdoor campaign.
Bunch broke the school records in the indoor and outdoor shot put, as well as in the weight throw. The was named the indoor Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week a conference record six times, including four in a row, which is also a Big Ten record for a field athlete. She also was named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week for the outdoor season twice. She earned First Team All-Big Ten honors during the indoor season and was a second teamer outdoors.
Bunch and Mostert each ran away in the voting for Athlete of the Year.
Mostert joined the track team in January after football season ended, where he racked up 258 kick return yards and a touchdown. On the track, Mostert broke the Big Ten Championships record in the 200-meter dash and the school record in the 60-meter dash en route to a pair of indoor Big Ten titles. He also ran on the school’s 4×400-meter relay team at the indoor championships and placed sixth, which brought his total to 23 of the team’s 61 points. He was named the Big Ten Track Athlete of the Championships.
During the outdoor season, Mostert picked up two more conference championships, claiming the 100m and 200m crowns. He also ran the final leg of the team’s 4x100m relay, and took second just 0.02 of a second behind the winners, and the final leg of the fourth-place 4x400m relay team. Mostert was part of 33 of the team’s 79 points and was again named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Championships.
The junior qualified for the indoor NCAA Championships in the 60m and 200m dashes and picked up a pair of second-team All-America honors. He advanced to the outdoor NCAA Championships in the 100, 200m and 4x100m relay and picked up a pair of second team All-America honors, as well as an honorable mention nod. During the season, he had an all-conditions best time of 10.15 seconds in the 100m, while his best wind-legal time was 10.28. After qualifying for the outdoor championships in three events, Mostert was named the Great Lakes Regional Men’s Track Athlete of the Year.