ZIMBABWE’S star triple jumper, Chengetayi “Du” Mapaya, is having a headline-making season in the United States.
After having been named as one of the four Athletes of the Month, for February, at Texas Christian University, Mapaya (22) added one more feather in his cap.
He joined two other athletes in winning the TCU Student-Athletes of the Week award on Wednesday.
According to reports from Fort Worth in Texas, Mapaya of track and field, Stephanie Grundsoee and Elizabeth Marsh of women’s rifle, have been named TCU Student-Athletes of the Week.
The award is presented by Bob’s Steak and Chop House.
This came after Mapaya earned a silver medal, and a national runner-up spot, at the NCAA Indoor Nationals at Fayetteville, in Arkansas, this past weekend.
Mapaya’s mark of 16.95m broke Ndabezinhle Mdhlongwa’s Zimbabwe indoor triple jump record from 1998 (16,89m), as well as TCU’s school record.
His jump is also a new personal best and is now a six-time All-American. His fellow TCU Student-Athletes of the Week winners, Grundsoee and Marsh, led the TCU women’s rifle team to an air rifle championship and a national runner-up at the NCAA Championships this past weekend.
Grundsoee fired a match-best 598 in the air rifle competition, while Marsh fired a 596.
In the small bore competition, Marsh led the way with a 591 and Grundsoee fired a 590.
They each earned trips to the individual finals both days. Grundsoee finished second overall with an aggregate score of 1,188 and Marsh was third with an aggregate score of 1,187.
But, it was Mapaya, who was wearing the biggest smile on Wednesday, after he scooped his second TCU Student-Athletes of the Week award.
Mapaya first won the award at TCU last month after he broke the school record and facility record at the Texas Tech Shoot-out.
His first jump of 16.80m broke the meet and facility record and his second attempt (16.85m) improved his NCAA-leading mark and that jump ranked No. 7 in the world in February.
And, as if this was not enough, Mapaya was named among the four recipients of TCU’s February Scholar-Athletes of the Month award.
On February 26, the senior from Zimbabwe clinched his second Big 12 Indoor Triple Jump Championship with a leap of 16.55m. He secured a gold medal with only one jump for the crown by leaping 16.55m on his first attempt.
In the same conference championship Mapaya also placed fifth in long jump, in just his third ever collegiate long jump appearance.
Mapaya is currently ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 Conference, No. 2 in the United States, and No. 10 in the world for indoor triple jump and owns the TCU school records in both outdoor and indoor triple jump.
The Big 12 Conference, originally Big 6 Conference, is the American collegiate athletic organisation composed of the Universities of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, as well as Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas Christian, Texas Tech and West Virginia.
Mapaya is a communications major and is one of four Zimbabweans who are on athletics scholarships at TCU.
The others are sprinters Kundai Maguranyanga (22), Tinotenda Matiyenga (21) and Simba Maketa (20).