WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Former Purdue Quarterback David Blough and Taite Kitchel of the Women's Swim and Dive team were awarded Monday night as Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients at Purdue Athletics' Golden Pete Awards.
The award, given to one male and one female per school in the conference, is the most exclusive honor a Big Ten athlete can receive. It recognizes academic and athletic excellence.
Kitchel is a three-time NCAA Championships qualifier and three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, according to a news release. She is the Purdue record-holder in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly, eclipsing the 200 benchmark twice as a junior and the 100 record as a senior. Kitchel will graduate with a degree in pharmacy.
"I've had such an amazing experience here at Purdue all around, athletically and academically," said Kitchel. "This is a lot of fun every year. I love when all the teams are together and you can hear the people cheering for the people that are on their teams that are up for awards. Also, you can hear about what some of the other teams did that were more minor plays that you didn't know about. I always leave this every year thinking 'Wow we've got pretty good sports teams.'"
Blough was a four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a two-time team captain for Purdue Football. The quarterback ranks fourth all-time at Purdue with 9,734 passing yards. Blough earned his bachelor's degree in organizational leadership and subsequently pursued a master's in health and kinesiology. As a senior, he was a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation, and one of three finalists for the Wuerffel Trophy (presented to the college football player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement), according to a news release.
An exit interview with @BoilerFootball's @david_blough10 as he puts the cherry on top of his #Purdue career. He took home the @bigten Medal of Honor at tonight's #GoldenPetes. Incredible man of character.
— Trevor Peters (@TrevorPetersTV) April 23, 2019
"When I came in as a freshman, we came to this award show and our team wasn't very good and you don't get much recognition," said Blough. "But there was this award at the end that was the Big Ten Medal of Honor. This is the most humbling award I've received as a Boilermaker. I know it will probably mean more in 10 to 15 years. That's what coaches have told me. I'm so thankful for it all. This is just closing the last chapter as a student athlete at Purdue. I'll forever be a Boilermaker."
The Purdue Men's Basketball team took home several awards Monday including two honors for Carsen Edwards. He was recognized as Male Performance of the Year and Individual Performance of a Single Event. Ryan Cline's 3-pointer to tie the game at 80 against Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 was named the Play of the Year in the athletic department. Matt Painter was named Coach of the Year and the entire team was honored with Team of the Year.
Male Breakout of the Year: Rondale Moore, football
Female Breakout of the Year: Grace Cleveland, volleyball
Male Individual Performance, Single Event: Carsen Edwards, basketball
Female Individual Performance, Single Event: Karissa McLaughlin, basketball
Team Performance, Single Event: Football beats No. 2 Ohio State 49-20
Coach of the Year: Matt Painter, men's basketball
Joe Tiller Excellence Award: Tanya Foster, director - learning services
Male Performance of the Year: Carsen Edwards, basketball
Female Performance of the Year: Sherridan Atkinson, volleyball
Play of the Year: Ryan Cline 3-point field goal to tie game at 80 against Tennessee in NCAA Tournament Sweet 16
Team of the Year: Men's Basketball