Rising high jump star Kudakwashe Chandenga has been recognised for his record-breaking performances for the Texas-based South Plains College after being named the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Male of the Week in the US.
The National Athlete of the Week is an award selected and presented by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) at the beginning of each week to eight collegiate track & field athletes.
Here are our 𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐀𝐭𝐡𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐖𝐞𝐞𝐤 in @NJCAAXCTF Indoor for February 15!
M – Kudakwashe Chadenga, @spctexans
W – Hilda Chebet, @ReiverCC_TF
These athletes are running & jumping into the record book!
📄 https://t.co/U2OipzrFO6 pic.twitter.com/ffl3rcmqTf
— USTFCCCA (@USTFCCCA) February 15, 2022
The award seeks to highlight not only the very best times, marks and scores on a week-to-week basis, but also performances that were significant on the national landscape and/or the latest in a series of strong outings.
Chadenga had a week to remember after breaking his own week-long Zimbabwe high jump record with a best jump of 2.22m at the Texas Tech Shootout at the Texas Tech Sports Performance Center.
A week earlier Chadenga, who is still a freshman had broken the long-standing national mark of 2.20m which had been standing since January 2000.
In addition to breaking Zimbabwe record, Chadenga also shattered several records for his college South Plains, with his latest jump which is the #4 all-time mark in NJCAA history.
“Kudakwashe Chadenga has been on a serious jumping tear in February. Having never cleared 7-feet (2.14m) before this month, he has now done it five times in two meets. His latest effort of 2.22m (7-3¼) at the Texas Tech Shootout moved him up to a tie for No. 4 all-time in NJCAA history. It is also the highest jump by a JUCO athlete since 2012 and ties him for No. 5 among all collegians this year,” said the USTFCCCA in a statement on their official website.
“A week earlier, Chadenga PR’d at the Charlie Thomas Invitational, with his best that day of 2.20m (7-2½) making him then tied for No. 6 on the all-time NJCAA list. He is the ninth male athlete from South Plains to be named National Athlete of the Week in indoor track & field.”