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Nine Big Ten men's and women's track & field and cross country student-athletes earned Capital One Academic All-America distinction, the organization announced Thursday. The complete list of Big Ten Academic All-America award recipients can be found below.

Men's Capital One Academic All-America
First Team
Reed Connor, Wisconsin
Levi Gipson, Nebraska

Second Team
Cody Rush, Nebraska

Third Team
Timothy Faust, Ohio State
Mason Ferlic, Michigan
Caleb Rhynard, Michigan State

Women's Capital One Academic All-America
First Team
Anne Martin, Nebraska

Second Team
Kiley Tobel, Michigan

Third Team
Kelsie Ahbe, Indiana

For the complete release, click here.

Big Ten Medal of Honor Mondays: Wisconsin

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During the Big Ten's celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, the conference will be featuring "Medal of Honor Mondays" for 12 consecutive weeks, which will highlight a number of Medal of Honor winners from each school. This week, we feature the University of Wisconsin.

Morgan Shields (2004, women's volleyball)
A 2004 recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Shields was a four-year letterwinner for Wisconsin, leading the Badgers to two Big Ten Championships and four NCAA Tournament appearances. Shield, who was a setter, ranks first in Wisconsin history in assists per set (12.82) and fourth in total assists (4,076). She is also tied for third in service aces per set (0.35). Shields was tabbed a third-team All-American in 2002 and an Academic All-District pick in 2003. The Watertown, Wis., native was a two-time All-Big Ten selection and Academic All-Big Ten honoree. Following graduation, Shields played professionally in Sweden and Portugal. In 2004, she played and served as the head coach with Katrineholms VK and in 2005, she competed with Club Academio VC.

Kirk Penney (2003, men's basketball)
Penney, who received Wisconsin's Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2003, was the first Badger to earn back-to-back first-team All-Big Ten honors (2002-03) since 1951-52. In 2002, Penney helped Wisconsin clinch a share of its first Big Ten title in 55 years, and he was just the fifth Badger to earn unanimous first-team honors since 1948. He currently ranks second at Wisconsin in career three-point field goals made (217) and attempted (561), ninth in points (1,454) and 10th in field goals made (503). The Auckland, New Zealand, native also ranks first in school history in total NCAA Tournament games (11). A four-year letterwinner, Penney earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2002 and was named an Associated Press honorable mention All-American in 2003. Penney played two seasons in the NBA with the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers and currently plays for Trabzonspor of the Turkish Basketball League.

Erin Byrd (2003, women's volleyball)
Awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2003, Erin Byrd was a four-year letterwinner for the Badgers, leading Wisconsin in digs each season she competed. She helped lead her team to a pair of Big Ten Championships (2001-02) and four NCAA Tournament berths. She is one of just five Badgers to record more than 1,000 digs and 1,000 kills in her career. The outside hitter was a second-team AVCA All-American (2002), a two-time All-Big Ten selection (2001-02), a Big Ten All-Freshman Team pick (1999) and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree (2000-02). The Glen Ellyn, Ill., native tops the Badger record book in consecutive matches played (133) and is fourth in digs (1,397), fifth in digs per set (3.02) and eighth in service aces (120). Following her collegiate career, Byrd played professionally for six years before earning a master's degree in business administration from Wisconsin.

Mike Kelley (2001, men's basketball)
Mike Kelley, the 1999 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, won the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2001. The Menomonee Falls, Wis., native was an integral part of the Badgers' 2000 Final Four Team, earning All-Region honors during the tournament that season. He still holds Wisconsin's all-time record in career steals with 275, a mark that also ranks third in the Big Ten career record books. Kelley was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, collecting the honor in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

Katie Voigt (1998, women's basketball)
Katie Voigt, a 1998 recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, led Wisconsin to three NCAA Tournament appearances (1995, 96, 98) during her career. She was tabbed first-team All-Big Ten in 1998 and earned Academic All-Big Ten honors three times. The education and mathematics major was also a CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree in 1996. Voigt ranks among the Badgers' career leaders in numerous categories, including: first in free throw percentage (.831), second in three-point field goals (234), seventh in assists (373) and three-point field goal percentage (.358), and eighth in points (1,576). Following her collegiate career, she played professionally overseas before returning to the U.S., where she joined Athletes in Action, the sports ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.

John Byce (1990, men's ice hockey)
John Byce, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1990, tallied 165 points in 169 career games at Wisconsin. This included a hat trick in the 1990 NCAA championship game, which the Badgers won 7-3 en route to their fifth national title. Within a week of that contest, Byce was playing for the Boston Bruins, helping the team reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 1990. A native of Madison, Wis., Byce played professionally through the 1999-00 season before moving into the corporate real estate business.

Tim Hacker (1986, cross country)
Hacker led the Badgers to NCAA cross country titles in 1982 and 1985, winning the individual title in the latter year. He extended his running career long enough to win a U.S. cross country title at age 35 in 1997. Hacker became a senior scientist in Wisconsin's School of Medicine and director of the school's Cardiovascular Physiology Core Laboratory.

Cathy Branta and John Easker (1985, men's and women's track & field)
Big Ten Medal of Honor winners share a special bond, none more than Wisconsin's 1985 winners, Cathy Branta and John Easker. Branta and Easker were an engaged couple when they ran on the Badgers' cross country and track & field teams, both producing illustrious careers. Branta won 11 Big Ten track & field titles, was a three-time cross country champion (1982-84) and the conference's first national champion in cross country (1984). Easker was a four-time Big Ten track & field title winner and the 1983 conference cross country champion. The couple is married and operates a dairy farm outside of Wausau, Wis.

Ann French (1982, badminton)
The lone badminton player to be honored, Wisconsin's Ann French won the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1982. As a freshman, French was honored with the Broderick Award, given annually to the "outstanding collegiate competitor in badminton." In 1980-81 and 1981-82, French and teammate Claire Allison won the AIAW national doubles title. The Elmhurst, Ill., native was also a four-time All-American.

Mike Eaves (1978, men's ice hockey)
Mike Eaves, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1978, is Wisconsin's career points leader with 267 points (94 goals, 173 assists) in 160 career games. A two-time first-team All-American, Eaves was a three-year captain for the Badgers, leading the squad to the 1977 NCAA title. He went on to record 226 points in 324 career games in the NHL before moving into the coaching profession. Eaves took the helm at his alma mater in 2002 and helped the Badgers claim their sixth NCAA crown in 2006. Eaves talked about what winning the Big Ten Medal of Honor meant to him at the inaugural Big Ten Men's Hockey Tournament this year, which his Badgers won. [insert video from Weber]

Douglas R. McFadyen (1970, men's ice hockey)
Douglas R. McFadyen, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1970, captained Wisconsin to its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth at the conclusion of the 1969-70 season. The Calgary, Alberta, native skated in 98 games for the Badgers, tallying 82 points on 15 goals and 67 assists from the blue line. A three-time letterwinner, McFadyen led the team's defensemen in points in 1967-68 (35 points) and 1969-70 (16 points).

Pat Richter (1963, football)
A three-sport standout in football, basketball and baseball, Pat Richter earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1963. He was a consensus All-American in 1962, leading Wisconsin to the Big Ten Championship and the Rose Bowl Game. Also that season, he was an Academic All-American and was part of the Academic All-America Hall of Fame Class of 1995. He played for the Washington Redskins from 1963-70 after being selected in the first round of the 1963 NFL Draft. Richter later assumed the role of director of athletics at Wisconsin, serving from 1989-2004. His name appears on the Big Ten's Richter-Howard Wide Receiver of the Year trophy.

Big Ten Medal of Honor Mondays: Penn State

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During the Big Ten's celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, the conference will be featuring "Medal of Honor Mondays" for 12 consecutive weeks, which will highlight a number of Medal of Honor winners from each school. This week, we feature Penn State University.

Adrian Evans (2014, men's gymnastics)
Evans closed out his collegiate career with a top-20 performance at the 2014 NCAA national championship team finals. During his final campaign in the Blue and White, he recorded four top-10 finishes on the pommel horse, highlighted by a second-place finish against Temple. This season he was also selected as one of nine finalists for the 2014 Nissen-Emery Award. Widely regarded as one of the most prestigious honors in collegiate gymnastics, Evans became the 26th Nissen-Emery finalist in Penn State program history. He also was named a recipient of the 2014 Ernest B. McCoy Memorial Award, which is presented annually to one Penn State senior male and one senior female student-athlete who have combined successful athletic participation with academic excellence.
In 2013, Evans garnered his second consecutive All-America honor on the pommel horse at the 2013 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships. Outside of the gym, the advertising major and 2014 team captain earned College Gymnastics Association All-America Scholar-Athlete honors the last three consecutive seasons, while also earning a spot on the Academic All-Big Ten team each year.

Emily Giannotti (2014, women's track & field)
Giannotti, who is majoring in rehabilitation and human services, has been a fixture on the Nittany Lion women's track and cross country teams during her career. On the course, this long-distance runner competed in three NCAA Cross Country Championships (2011-13), leading Penn State to a berth in the 2013 Championships. Giannotti also earned All-Region status with a 21st-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional, which the former All-Big Ten member helped the Nittany Lions win. Giannotti helped Penn State capture the Big Ten women's indoor and outdoor track and field championships in 2013-14. On the national scene, the Coudersport, Pa., native qualified for the 2013 NCAA Eastern Preliminary Round in the 10,000 meters and in the steeplechase event in 2012. A graduate student, she placed third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships. She also won the 2014 Ernest B. McCoy Memorial Award this year.

John Urschel (2013, football)
Urschel, who claimed the Big Ten Medal of Honor in May of 2013, was a first-team All-Big Ten honoree in 2012, starting all 12 games at right tackle and helping the Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in total offense during the conference season. The 2013 Campbell Trophy winner and 84th AAU Sullivan Award winner, he earned his bachelor's degree in less than three years on campus. He earned his first master's degree in Math last May and is currently working on his second master's in Math Education. He has taught Integral Vector Calculus and Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry, as well as researched multigrid methods and computational mathematics. He also has had a paper published last spring in the journal, Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronom titled "Instabilities of the Sun-Jupiter-Asteroid Three Body Problem".

Joanna Lohman (2005, women's soccer)
Lohman was the first four-time First Team All-Big Ten selection in the school's history and captained the Nittany Lions soccer team in 2002-2003. She was Big Ten Player of the Year in 2003 and led Penn State to their fourth straight conference title. Her 3.98 GPA while studying business earned her four-time Academic All-American honors. After playing professionally, Lohman moved to Spain with her partner and founded the JoLi Academy, a training center for young female soccer players in India and helped launch an organization that encourages schools to create safer spaces for lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and questioning athletes called GO! Athletes. As Vice President of Tenant Consulting, LLC, a commercial real estate firm in the Washington, D.C., area, she also helped create the first "carbon neutral calculator" for office buildings, resulting in an invitation to meet former Vice President Al Gore.

John Amaechi (1995, men's basketball)
A 1995 Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient, Amaechi scored 1,310 points in three seasons at Penn State, which is the most points scored for a Nittany Lion in less than four seasons. He was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 1995, a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, a two-time Academic All-American and was named the Academic All-American of the Year in 1995. One of just five players to post at least 1,300 points and 700 rebounds at Penn State, Amaechi played five seasons in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz. After his NBA career, Amaechi helped England earn the bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. The Manchester, England, native was the first and only Briton to have his jersey hung in the U.S. Basketball Hall of Fame. Amaechi is currently an organizational consultant, a New York Times best-selling author and a social entrepreneur in America and Europe.

Helen Holloway (1994, women's basketball)
A 1994 recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Holloway led Penn State to its first Big Ten Championship during her senior season. She guided the Lady Lions to four NCAA Tournament appearances, tallying 1,022 points and 598 rebounds in her career. Holloway was a two-time All-Big Ten selection and was tabbed the Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Year in 1991. She led her team in scoring during the 1993-94 season and was named to the NCAA Midwest All-Region team in 1994.

Michele Robinson (1992, women's volleyball)
Michele Robinson became the first Penn State female to collect the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1992. A four-year letterwinner for the Nittany Lions, Robinson's teams compiled a 140-18 (.890) record during her collegiate career, winning conference championships in 1988, 1989 and 1990. She was a two-time Academic all-conference selection. Following her collegiate career, Robinson spent four years in the U.S. Navy, where she competed nationally and internationally on the All-Navy and All-Armed Forces Volleyball Team.

Nittany Lion student-athletes Adrian Evans (men's gymnastics) and Emily Giannotti (women's track and field/cross country) have been selected Penn State's 2013-14 Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients.  As the Big Ten Conference commemorates its 100th anniversary of a very unique tradition, the pair join more than 1,300 student-athletes who have earned this proud distinction.

For the full release, click here.

100 Days of the Big Ten Medal of Honor: Day 60

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Nebraska's Ashley Miller (2012, track)
Miller won the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2012. She ran to a record 15 state championships for her Iowa high school before becoming a three-time Big Ten champion. In 2012, Miller earned the Big Ten indoor title in the 3,000-meter run and the outdoor crowns in the 800- and 1,500-meter runs. She currently holds the Husker record in the 3,000-meter run and was tabbed an All-American and Academic All-American during her career. She has been active as a community volunteer and pursued a master's degree in community nutrition and health promotion.

Big Ten Medal of Honor Mondays: Nebraska

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During the Big Ten's celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, the conference will be featuring "Medal of Honor Mondays" for 12 consecutive weeks, which will highlight a number of Medal of Honor winners from each school. This week, we feature the University of Nebraska.

Emily Wong (2014, gymnastics)
As a senior, Wong led Coach Dan Kendig's Husker women's gymnastics team to the Big Ten title. Along the way, Wong cemented her position as one of the nation's top all-around student-athletes. The 2014 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year, Wong won the Big Ten title on floor after posting just the second 10.0 on the event in Nebraska history. She added a Big Ten title on beam with a career-high 9.95 on the event in 2014, after winning four individual Big Ten crowns in 2013. In addition to her remarkable accomplishments in competition, Wong was a second-team CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2013 and was named the winner of the Big Ten's Wayne Duke Postgraduate Scholarship. She is a finalist for the 2014 AAI Award presented to the nation's top women's gymnastics student-athlete. The native of Grand Forks, N.D., is a three-time NACGC/W Scholastic All-American and a three-time academic All-Big Ten selection. She is a two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar as a nutrition science major at Nebraska.

Seth Wiedel (2014, track & field)
Wiedel battled to a runner-up showing at the 2014 Big Ten Indoor Championships in the long jump with a season-best tying mark of 24-7 1/4 (7.50) for Coach Gary Pepin's track and field team. Wiedel also finished 11th in the triple jump at the league meet. He added an eighth-place finish in the long jump and a ninth-place showing in the triple jump at the 2013 Big Ten outdoor meet.
Wiedel was a 2013 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and claimed academic All-Big Ten honors in both 2012 and 2013. He was also a recipient of a Nebraska Student-Athlete HERO Leadership Award in 2013. He earned spots on the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team in both 2011 and 2013. Wiedel is majoring in business administration at Nebraska.

Björn Barrefors (2013, track & field)
A track & field standout at Nebraska, Barrefors earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2013. He is a six-time All-American, two-time conference champion, two-time All-Big Ten selection and holds the school record in the outdoor decathlon and indoor heptathlon events. The three-time captain won the decathlon at the 2012 Big Ten Outdoor Championships and finished fourth at the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships. At the NCAA Championships in 2012, he finished fourth in the heptathlon and eighth in the decathlon. The Stockholm, Sweden native was the first four-time CoSIDA Academic All-American in Cornhusker history, and also won the NCAA Elite 88 award in 2010.  Barrefors is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and won the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar award in both 2012 and 2013.

Ashley Miller (2012, track & field)
Miller won the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2012. She ran to a record 15 state championships for her Iowa high school before becoming a three-time Big Ten champion. In 2012, Miller earned the Big Ten indoor title in the 3,000-meter run and the outdoor crowns in the 800- and 1,500-meter runs. She currently holds the Husker record in the 3,000-meter run and was tabbed an All-American and Academic All-American during her career. She has been active as a community volunteer and pursued a master's degree in community nutrition and health promotion.

As the Big Ten continues to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, senior student-athletes Jillian Smith and John Wojciechowski were named the 2013-14 Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients for the University of Michigan, which was announced on Tuesday evening at the Academic Awards Banquet held at Crisler Center. Smith is a member of the women's cross country and track and field teams and Wojciechowski swam on the men's swimming and diving squad.

Click here for the complete release.

The Big Ten enjoyed a successful 2013-14 women's indoor track & field season, highlighted by 12 top-eight finishes at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships and Penn State taking home the Big Ten Championship.

NCAA Round-Up: Big Ten student-athletes earned 12 top-eight finishes at the 2014 Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., from March 14-15, en route to All-America honors. Six Big Ten student-athletes placed in the top eight of their respective events at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Albuqueque, N.M. Penn State's Mahagony Jones and Purdue's Dani Bunch posted third-place efforts in the 200-meter dash (22.93) and weight throw (21.81 meters), respectively, while Michigan's distance medley relay squad of Jaimie Phelan, Maya Long, Danielle Pfeifer and Brook Handler took fifth (11:14.60). The Big Ten recorded nine top eight finishes on the final day of the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. Three student-athletes took home fifth-place efforts, including Michigan State's Tori Franklin in the triple jump (13.17 meters), Purdue's Dani Bunch in the shot put (16.97 meters) and Wisconsin's Deanna Latham in the pentathlon (4252). Penn State's Brittney Howell also placed in the pentathlon, coming in at seventh with 4202 points. The Nittany Lion 4x400-meter relay team of Dynasty McGee, Mahagony Jones, Tichina Rhodes and Kiah Seymour also finished in fifth, running a time of 3:33.13. Seymour placed sixth in the 400-meter fun (52.85), while Michigan's Cindy Ofili also recorded a sixth-place finish, clocking a time of 8.07 in the 60-meter hurdles. Michigan State's Leah O'Connor and Minnesota's Alena Brooks each posted seventh-place efforts in the mile run (4:40.86) and 800-meter run (2:08.31), respectively. For more on the NCAA Championships, click HERE.

Regional Recognition: Two schools collected regional awards from the USTFCCC, it was announced on March 10. Student-athletes and coaches from Michigan State and Penn State and Wisconsin earned recognition in two different regions: Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic. In the Great Lakes Region, Michigan State's Leah O'Connor earned Track Athlete of the Year honors and fellow Spartan Tori Franklin collected Field Athlete of the Year recognition. Penn State's Mahagony Jones took home Track Athlete of the Year honors in the Mid-Atlantic region, while Nittany Lion head coach Beth Alford-Sullivan was named Coach of the Year and Randy Bungard was tabbed tabbed Assistant Coach of the Year. Click HERE for more on the USTFCCCA awards.

And The Awards Go To: The Big Ten Conference office announced the 2014 Big Ten women's indoor track & field individual award winners on March 4. Highlighting the list, Michigan's Cindy Ofili was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year and Purdue's Dani Bunch earned the nod as Field Athlete of the Year. Penn State's Kiah Seymour was tabbed Big Ten Track Athlete of the Championships and Michigan State's Tori Franklin took home Field Athlete of the Championships laurels. Michigan's Erin Finn was tabbed Freshman of the Year by the conference coaches, while Nittany Lion head coach Beth Alford-Sullivan was named Coach of the Year by her peers. For more on the conference's end of the year awards, click HERE.

Lions Leap To Big Ten Title: The Penn State women won the 2014 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships on March 1 at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. The Nittany Lions posted three individual crowns and one relay title to claim the championship. The title marks Penn State's third overall and first since 2010. Penn State totaled 114.50 points en route to the championship, while Michigan (104 points) and Nebraska (92 points) came in second and third, respectively. Minnesota finished in fourth place with 64.50 points, while Purdue rounded out the top five with 53 points. The Nittany Lions picked up first-place finishes from Tori Gerlach (3,000-meter run), Mahagony Jones (200-meter dash) and Kiah Seymour (400-meter dash) and the 4x400-meter relay team made up of Jones, Seymour, Dynasty McGee and Tichina Rhoades. For more on the Big Ten Championships, click HERE and HERE.

 

100 Days of the Big Ten Medal of Honor: Day 15

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At least 632 Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients have also earned Academic All-Big Ten recognition, including 308 three-time and 80 four-time honorees. Football has the most Academic All-Big Ten selections (132), followed by track & field (84), swimming & diving (69), basketball (61), tennis (37), gymnastics (35), cross country (34), soccer (32) and volleyball (30).

100 Days of the Big Ten Medal of Honor: Day 3

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Big Ten Medal of Honor winners share a special bond, none more than Wisconsin's 1985 winners, Cathy Branta and John Easker. Branta and Easker were an engaged couple when they ran on the Badgers' cross country and track & field teams, both producing illustrious careers. Branta won 11 Big Ten track & field titles, was a three-time cross country champion (1982-84) and the conference's first national champion in cross country (1984). Easker was a four-time Big Ten track & field title winner and the 1983 conference cross country champion. Both still hold Big Ten records, Branta in the 1,500-meter run and two-mile run and Easker in the 10,000-meter run. Nowadays, the couple is married and operate a dairy farm outside Wausau, Wis.