PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Connecticut, Louisville and West Virginia each earned recognition with BIG EAST Outdoor Track & Field weekly awards, as announced by the conference office on Tuesday. Louisville swept the awards on the men's side, as senior Matt Hughes was named BIG EAST Men's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week, while classmate Weston Banks earned BIG EAST Men's Field Athlete of the Week. On the women's side, Connecticut senior Trisha-Ann Hawthorne was named BIG EAST Women's Track Athlete of the Week while West Virginia senior Chelsea Carrier earned BIG EAST Women's Field Athlete of the Week.
Hughes was named BIG EAST Men's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week after winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Texas Roadhouse Border Battle in Louisville, Ky., on April 9. Hughes made his season debut in the event and cruised to a first-place finish in 8:52.98. The 2010 NCAA 3,000-meter steeplechase champion registered a mark that ranks first in the BIG EAST and fourth nationally. He finished nearly six seconds ahead of his closest competitor and led by as much as 11 seconds at one point.
Banks earned BIG EAST Men's Outdoor Field Athlete of the Week after winning the shot put and finishing second in the discus at the Texas Roadhouse Border Battle on April 9. Banks had a career-best outdoor toss of 17.75 meters to take first in the shot put, which is also the best throw in the BIG EAST this season and ranks 21st nationally. His discus throw of 51.70 meters is fifth in the conference and 65th nationally.
Hawthorne was named BIG EAST Women's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week after winning the 100 and 200-meter dash events, while also helping the 4x100-meter relay team to a victory at the UConn All-Region Invitational in Storrs, Conn., on April 9. Hawthorne sprinted to a time of 11.31 in the 100-meter dash, a time that ranks first in the BIG EAST, seventh in the East Region and 14th in the nation. The senior followed that with a time of 23.59 in the 200-meter dash, the second-best time in the BIG EAST (behind her own time of 23.58) and ninth in the East Region.
Carrier earned BIG EAST Women's Outdoor Field Athlete of the Week after winning the heptathlon at the Texas Relays in Austin, Texas, on April 6-9. Carrier totaled 5,927 points, which ranks first in the nation this season and broke the West Virginia school record. The senior also broke the school record in the 100-meter hurdles as part of the pentathlon, crossing the line in 13.04 seconds to top the previous best of 13.20 set in 1996.
The next BIG EAST Outdoor Track and Field Weekly Awards will be released on April 19, 2011.