March 3, 2005
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana junior Aarik Wilson has been named the Big Ten Men's Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Championships, the league office announced today. The individual postseason accolades were chosen by a vote of the conference head coaches.
"Aarik receiving these awards is great," Indiana associate head coach Wayne Pate said. "He did a good job. We were hoping that he would. This is the first meet where he has fresh legs, because we had been training throughout the season to peak at the right time. It turned out really well and he competed well. It is what we expected."
Wilson edged out defending long jump champion Paul Hubbard of Wisconsin to claim his first title of the championships with a leap of 24-10.50. The Fallon, Nev., native scored his second crown of the two-day event and his fourth career Big Ten Indoor title to claim the triple jump in record-breaking form. Meanwhile, Wilson broke a 30-year old meet record when he recorded a jump of 55-02.75 and bettered the mark of Illinois' Charlton Ehizuelen, who jumped 54-09.05 in the 1975 championships.
Wilson is the third Hoosier to ever be named the Male Athlete of the Year. Two-Time Olympian Bob Kennedy was honored with the award in 1990 and 1992, while Glenn Terry took home the accolade in 1993.
He also become the fifth IU student-athlete to be selected the Athlete of the Championships, following Terry Brahm (1984, 85), Albert Robinson (1986), Gary Gooden (1989) and Bob Kennedy (1990, 92).
Indiana's school-record holder in the triple jump, Wilson earned a third accolade as he was honored with the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. The award is given to individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
Wilson is now a candidate for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, as the Conference office will honor one male and one female student-athlete from each institution at the end of the school year.