By Collin Matiza
Promising Zimbabwean sprinter Kundai Maguranyanga was on Tuesday night walking on cloud nine after he was named the men’s Athlete of the Year at Drake University.
This follows his record-breaking feats during the just-ended collegiate indoor track and field season in the United States.
Drake University is a private, co-educational university in Des Moines, Iowa, United States.
The Drake University cross-country and track team held an awards banquet on Tuesday night to honour the team’s top student-athletes for their athletic and academic accomplishments.
The team also honoured 13 seniors for their contributions to the programme.
And 20-year-old Zimbabwean sprinter Maguranyanga, a sophomore (second-year student), was named the men’s Athlete of the Year after being named MVC Freshman of the Year in the 2018 outdoor season.
This came after Maguranyanga sent tongues wagging at Drake University when he won both the men’s 60 and 200-metre titles at the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Track & Field Championship last month.
Maguranyanga became the first Bulldog since 2001 to sweep the sprint titles.
During the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Track & Field Championship which were held at Cedar Falls in Iowa, Maguranyanga overcame a slow start in the 60m before storming back to win in 6,78 seconds, a day after recording the second-fastest time in the school’s history of 6,73 seconds during the qualifying heats.
Maguranyanga also dominated the 200m event at the same meet, leading from wire-to-wire in 21,37 seconds.
Maguranyanga is a former pupil of Zimuto Mission and Pamushana Mission in Masvingo, Zimbabwe.
After setting the 13th African Junior Athletics Championships alight in Tlemcen, Algeria, in July 2017 where he helped Zimbabwe to win a gold medal in the boys 4x100m relay, Maguranyanga won himself a four-year athletics scholarship at Drake University in the United States.
He moved to the Iowa-based college in January last year after he was spotted by fellow Zimbabwean, Ngoni Makusha, during the African Junior Athletics Championships in Algeria.
Makusha, a bronze medallist for Zimbabwe in the men’s long jump at the 2011 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, is now an assistant coach for sprints, hurdles and jumps at Drake University.