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July 6, 2012All-Americans, professional draft picks, a bevy of first-team All-Big Ten selections and some conference champions highlight our annual list of Purdue's athletes-of-the-year.
We hit No. 6 on our series today, as GoldandBlack.com takes a subjective look at the top 10 Boilermakers from 2011-12.
Bio: A senior who leaped onto the podium
Summary: As a team, the outdoor track and field season became a bit of a washout, finishing 11th for the men and 10th for the women in the Big Ten Outdoor Championships.
But Purdue had solid individual performances, notably from Big Ten champions Leah Eber (long jump, indoor and outdoor) and Dani Bunch (weight throw, indoor; and shot put, outdoor), along with sprinter Geoff Davis, who had podium finishes in the high jump during both seasons.
But Eber gets the edge on our list, due to winning multiple conference titles in 2011-12, plus earning a bronze medal in the indoor NCAA meet and a top-10 finish in the outdoor NCAA meet.
Eber finished third at the national indoor meet, jumping 21-01.25, which had her in second place after the second rounds, before being bettered by one other competitor later. She held on for third.
At the outdoor meet, Eber came in ninth place after just eeking into the finals. She, like Bunch, who finished 15th in the shot, was named second-team All-American.
A fifth-year senior from Indianapolis, Eber is arguably Purdue's best long-jumper in school history, winning four Big Ten titles (two indoor and two outdoor).
Analysis: The performances of Purdue's track and field teams weren't up to par, and Coach Jack Warner resigned after the season.
But individually, Eber was the best of a few who competed on a national level, and picked up a spot on our list of the top athletes of the 2011-12 year.
No. 10: Ricardo Allen
No. 9: Jennifer Rabot
No. 8: Brittany Rayburn
No. 7: Joe Haase
No. 6: Leah Eber
No. 5: Monday
No. 4: Tuesday
No. 3: Wednesday
No. 2: Thursday
No. 1: July 13
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