WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue senior Kara Patterson and assistant track and field coach Rodney Zuyderwyk received United States Track and Field & Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Great Lakes Region honors for the second consecutive season on Monday as Patterson repeated as Women’s Field Athlete of the Year, while Zuyderwyk was named Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year.
This marks yet another in a long line of distinguished awards for Patterson, who heads to Fayetteville, Ark., as NCAA Division I’s leader in the women’s javelin. Along with her second straight regional award, Patterson repeated as Big Ten Women’s Field Athlete of the Year, won her fourth NCAA Mideast Regional title, won her third Big Ten crown and was tabbed First Team All-Big Ten for the third time.
She also received the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor this year, awarded annually at each university to the student-athlete demonstrating the greatest proficiency in scholarship and athletics.
Zuyderwyk earns his second straight regional coaching award after being tabbed USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year in 2008. This year’s men’s award comes on the strength of Purdue’s success in the pole vault, hurdles and javelin.
Two Boilermakers under Zuyderwyk’s tutelage qualified for this week’s NCAA Championships, while four qualified for the Mideast Regional, two won Big Ten Championships and five scored points at the conference meet. Junior Eric Sparks won both the regional and conference title in the men’s pole vault, leading a 22-point team effort in the event at the Big Ten Championships along with senior Ben Pax and sophomore Chris Thoman (first, second and fifth).
Sophomore Josh Hembrough won his second straight Big Ten title in the men’s 110-meter hurdles and went on to earn an automatic NCAA berth with a fourth-place regional showing in the event. Junior Steve Carlson wrapped up the conference meet scoring with a fourth-place effort in the men’s javelin.
Patterson and Zuyderwyk continue their season this week at the NCAA Championships. Visit http://twitter.com/purduesports for continuous updates of the Boilermakers’ performances at the national meet.