Drouin Named Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year
June 26, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Big Ten Conference has announced Derek Drouin as the 2013 Jesse Owens Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year after one of the finest years in the history of IU Athletics. Drouin is Indiana's first recipient of the award since 1990 (Anthony Thompson), and the fifth Hoosier all-time to win the award. Drouin joins IU legends Sunder Nix (1984) and Jim Spivey (1982) as the only three track and field athletes to ever receive the award.
IU track and field director Ron Helmer said the recognition is a fitting end to an impressive collegiate career for Drouin.
"What a fitting recognition that comes on the heels of a multitude of similar accolades recognizing and celebrating the incredible career that Derek Drouin had here at IU," said Helmer. "As a track and field athlete, I am certain Derek is greatly honored as is our track and field program by the opportunity to receive an award named for one of the greatest track and field athletes of all time."
"I've had an incredible time representing not only Indiana University but also the Big Ten Conference during my time as a collegiate athlete," said Drouin. "It's a huge honor to be recognized by the Big Ten among so many stand out student-athletes and to receive an award named after Jesse Owens, one of the most legendary names in my sport."
Drouin started off the year by winning an Olympic bronze medal in the high jump in August for his native Canada. He became Indiana's 14th track and field Olympic Medalist and the 88th for IU across all sports. His medal was Canada's first track and field medal for a man since 1996 and the first in the high jump since 1976.
During the indoor season, Drouin was named National Field Athlete of the Year after going undefeated in the high jump. He became the first ever three-time NCAA indoor high jump champion, clearing 2.35m (7-8.5) to set a new Canadian and Big Ten indoor record and tie the all-time record for his home country. His jump is the second-best ever by a collegiate indoors. He bettered London Olympic silver medalist Erik Kynard of Kansas State at NCAAs and broke Kynard's facility record at the Randal Tyson Track Center to win the title. He won his third NCAA title indoors and his fourth overall, becoming Indiana's second four-time NCAA champion, joining Bob Kennedy, who won two cross country titles, an indoor crown and an outdoor crown. Drouin is a four-time indoor All-American in the high jump, joining teammate Andy Bayer as the only four-time indoor All-Americans in a single event in the history of the IU program. He won the Big Ten title in the high jump and took third in the heptathlon, clearing a world record in the heptathlon high jump of 2.30m (7-6.5). He earned Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Big Ten Championships honors and was named USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Field Athlete of the Year.
Outdoors, he was just as dominant. He was named National Field Athlete of the Year, becoming the first ever Big Ten athlete to win the award outdoors. A three-time National Field Athlete of the Year, only he and world record holder, Olympic Gold Medalist decathlete and 2010 recipient of the Bowerman Trophy Ashton Eaton have won the award indoors and outdoors in the same year. He is one of 10 semifinalists for the 2013 Bowerman and a virtual lock to be chosen as one of three finalists for the "Heisman Trophy of track and field". He cleared 2.34m (7-8) on June 7 to win the fifth NCAA title of his career in the high jump in Eugene, Ore., becoming the first ever five-time NCAA champ in the event and Indiana's first five-time NCAA champion in track and field. Drouin again bettered Kynard, improving his record to 4-0 in 2013 against the Kansas State jumper in collegiate meets. He added 10 NCAA team points for the Hoosiers, moving his career NCAA scoring total to 66 points, which is just four behind IU's all-time leader Aarik Wilson. He cleared 2.36m (7-9) at the Prefontaine Classic, a professional meet on the Diamond League circuit, taking third place on misses. The clearance is an all-time Canadian, Big Ten and Indiana University record and ranks second in the world in 2013. It is tied for the second best outdoor jump ever by a collegiate. He also broke the Penn Relays and Franklin Field records and the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field complex record in the high jump on the season. He won the Penn Relays title en route to Penn Relays Athlete of the Meet honors, and he beat Kynard head-to-head at the Texas Relays. He earned Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year honors after winning his seventh career Big Ten title in the high jump and was named USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Field Athlete of the Year, an honor he earned in seven out of eight seasons (three indoor and four outdoor). Last week, Drouin won his fourth Canadian National Title in the high jump, clinching a spot in the IAAF World Championships this August.
For complete coverage of all things IU track and field, stay tuned to IUHoosiers.com.
Check back soon