Swanigan, Charlton Named Athletes of the Year
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Dominating on the hardwood and on the track, Caleb Swanigan and Devynne Charlton have been named Purdue’s Athletes of the Year for the 2016-17 school year. They were selected by a vote of athletics department administrators from a pool of candidates made up of each sport’s Most Valuable Player or similar designee.
Swanigan and Charlton now will represent the Boilermakers in the voting for the Big Ten Conference Athlete of the Year awards. The Big Ten awards will be voted on by a panel of conference media and announced by the conference office June 20. Dani Bunch, (track & field) was the last Purdue female to win Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year in 2014. Diver David Boudia was the Boilermakers’ last Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year winner in 2011.
Swanigan was named a consensus first team All-American and was a finalist for the Wooden, Malone and Big O Awards after an incredible sophomore season.
Swanigan recorded one of the top statistical seasons in not only Purdue history, but NCAA history, en route to first-team honors. Swanigan averaged 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game while shooting 52.7 percent from the field, 44.7 percent from 3-point range and 78.1 percent from the free throw line.
He is the only major-college player (and one of two players total) to record 600 points, 400 rebounds and 100 assists in a season (Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon in 2013-14). He joins legendary Tim Duncan of Wake Forest (1996-97 season) as the only players in the last 25 years to average at least 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in a season.
Swanigan is the only player in the last 31 years (since the 1985-86 season) with at least 640 points, 430 rebounds and 100 assists.
His 28 double-doubles were the most for a player in Big Ten history and 13th most for a player in NCAA history, leading the country in that category. He set Purdue’s season rebounds record by almost 100 rebounds (436; Joe Barry Carroll is second with 352) and recorded 10 more double-doubles than any player in Purdue history.
In addition, Swanigan was named a second team Academic All-American, owning a 3.60 grade-point average during the spring semester and a 3.34 cumulative GPA.
Swanigan is the first basketball player to be named Purdue’s Male Athlete of the Year since Cuonzo Martin in 1995, and the eighth in school history (Keith Edmonson – 1982; Jim Rowinski – 1984; Troy Lewis – 1988; Stephen Scheffler – 1990; Jimmy Oliver – 1991; Glenn Robinson – 1993, 1994; Cuonzo Martin – 1995).
Swanigan led the Boilermakers to a 27-8 overall record, a berth in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 and Purdue’s 23rd Big Ten championship. The Boilermakers’ title was their 10th outright league title, winning the Big Ten regular-season championship by two full games.
Charlton, who hails from Nassau, Bahamas, won five Big Ten titles and earned four All-America honors, including three first-team nods, during her incredible fourth year on campus. During the indoor season, Charlton was named the Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year and Big Ten Track Athlete of the Championships after finishing runner-up at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 60-meter hurdles and claiming conference crowns in the hurdles and 60-meter dash. Charlton added a silver medal performance in the 200-meter dash at indoor Big Tens to bring her meet total to 28 of Purdue’s 94 points, where the Boilermakers finished second as a team. She earned first team All-America honors with her second-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles, with a Bahamian national record time, and was a second team All-American in the 60-meter dash after placing 16th.
During the outdoor season, Charlton was named the Great Lakes Track Athlete of the Year and Big Ten Track Athlete of the Championships with an opportunity to earn the Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year later this week. She earned first team All-America honors individually in the 100-meter hurdles after placing fifth at the NCAA Championships over the weekend. At the same meet, she was a first team All-American after running the lead leg of the seventh place 4×100-meter relay team. Charlton was the Big Ten champion in both events, as well as the 100-meter dash, and scored 26.5 of Purdue’s 133 points to lead the team to its first outdoor Big Ten title since 1999.
Charlton broke the school record in the 60-meter hurdles (7.93 seconds), 60-meter dash (7.26 seconds), 100-meter dash (11.31 seconds), 100-meter hurdles (12.74 seconds) and as a member of the shuttle hurdle relay team (53.85 seconds) across both seasons. She also ran the No. 2 time in school history in the indoor 200-meter dash (23.53 seconds). She was twice named the Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week, with one indoors and one outdoors. At the Drake Relays, she competed in the Rio Rematch 100-meter hurdles race and finished ahead of three Olympic finalists, including the bronze medalist.
Charlton was one of the main reasons the women earned their highest in-season rankings in program history indoors (12th) and outdoors (14th). She scored eight of the teams 12 points at the NCAA Indoor Championships to lead the women’s team to a 14th-place finish, the second-highest placing in program history. Outdoors, she scored four of the team’s 10 points to lead the team to a 21st-place finish, the fifth-highest in program history.
Charlton earns Purdue’s Female Athlete of the Year award for the second time in her career. She was previously voted the winner in 2015. She is the first woman to earn the honor twice in her career since golfer Maria Hernandez was the back-to-back winner in 2008 and 2009. Charlton is the third track woman in school history to be named female athlete of the year twice in her career and the first since Corissa Yasen in 1995 and 1996. Jamie McNeair is the only other female track athlete to earn it twice, doing so in 1989 and 1990.