April 3, 2011
[ONE // illinois earns big ten men’s gymnastics crown; postseason honors announced]
Illinois earned its third consecutive Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Championship on Friday during the first session of the conference championships. The Fighting Illini totaled a team score of 355.550 en route to the title in their home arena. Michigan finished second with a score of 352.750, followed by Ohio State in third at 350.000. Penn State took fourth at 349.000, while Minnesota placed fifth at 344.400 and Iowa finished sixth at 339.300. Michigan's Sam Mikulak earned the individual all-around title, marking the third consecutive season the all-around crown has been won by a Wolverine gymnast. On Saturday, individual conference champions were crowned in each of the six events. Big Ten Champion Illinois took home two event titles, while Michigan and Ohio State also reeled in two and Minnesota captured one event crown. In addition, the Big Ten individual award winners and All-Conference teams were honored after the championships, with Michigan's Sam Mikulak garnering Gymnast and Freshman of the Year honors. Illinois' Justin Spring earned his second consecutive Big Ten Coach of the Year award.
[TWO // big ten pair advances to ncaa women’s gymnastics championships]
Illinois and Michigan each advanced to the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships after placing in the top two of their respective Regional Championships on Saturday night. The No. 2 seed and host Wolverines won the Ann Arbor Regional, while the No. 3 seed Fighting Illini took second at the Tuscaloosa Regional. Five individual Big Ten gymnasts also punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships, as Iowa's Houry Gebeshian and Rebecca Simbhudas, Minnesota's Kayla Slechta and Penn State's Sharaya Musser all advanced by virtue of their all-around finish at their respective regionals. Ohio State's Rebecca Best also advanced after winning the vault title at the Ann Arbor Regional.
[THREE // big ten announces men’s swimming and diving honors]
The conference office announced on Tuesday the 2011 Big Ten Men's Swimmer and Diver of the Year award winners as voted on by the conference's coaches. Indiana's Eric Ress captured Swimmer of the Year honors, while Purdue's David Boudia was a unanimous pick for Diver of the Year after winning the award the past two seasons. Ress finished runner-up in the 200-yard backstroke at the NCAA Championships in a time of 1:38.96, setting a new school record. He also ended his junior year as the Big Ten 100-yard backstroke champion, touching the wall in 45.11 at the Big Ten Championships, and earned first team All-Big Ten honors for the first time in his career. After earning national titles in the one and three-meter springboards last season, Boudia captured the two diving crowns during this year's NCAA Championships. With a score of 472.30 on the three-meter, Boudia became only the fourth diver in Big Ten history to win three consecutive three-meter crowns.
[FOUR // seven to compete in the pool at world university games]
Seven Big Ten swimming standouts have been selected to compete for the United States at the 2011 World University Games, Aug. 14-19 in Shenzhen, China. On the men’s side, Michigan's Sean Ryan and Ohio State's duo of Elliott Keefer and Tim Phillips earned the nods, while Indiana's Ashley Jones and Taylor Wohrley, along with Penn State's Amy Modglin and Wisconsin's Ashley Wanland will represent the Big Ten women. Known internationally as the Summer Universiade, the multi-sport event takes place every two years and is considered the second largest international competition behind the Olympic Games. It boasts competitors from around the world and is open to student-athletes between the ages of 17 and 28 who are less than one year removed from college or its equivalent.
[FIVE // gopher great tops 100-meter breaststroke field at canadian world championships]
After winning the national title in the 100-meter breaststroke, Minnesota's Jillian Tyler continued her winning ways this past week as she won the same event at the Canadian World Championships in Victory on Thursday. Tyler took first place in a personal-best time of 1:07.56, the fifth-fastest time in the world this year. The victory earns her a spot on the Canadian Team for the FINA World Aquatic Championships in Shanghai, China this July.
[SIX // big ten softball pair ahead of the “class”]
Two Big Ten softball student-athletes were among the 10 finalists for the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, given annually to the student-athlete who has demonstrated excellence within four areas - community, classroom, character and competition. Michigan's Dorian Shaw and Illinois' Danielle Zymkowitz were named finalists for the award this past week, which will be announced on June 3 at the Women's College World Series. The winner will be selected by media and coaches votes, while fans can have their votes counted as well by logging on and voting through May 10.
[SEVEN // here’s come the diamond report]
Big Ten Network television coverage of 2011 Big Ten baseball and softball began on Sunday with a Purdue’s 3-0 win over Iowa and Ohio State’s 15-14 thriller over Northwestern, as well as the premiere of Big Ten Diamond Report. The network's new weekly studio show reviews the sports' top headlines, preview upcoming matchups and look at national storylines affecting the Big Ten. Mike Hall and Rick Pizzo host the show along with former Hawkeye pitcher and major leaguer Cal Eldred and Tammy Williams, Northwestern's former two-time Big Ten Softball Player of the Year. The show will air each Sunday during the spring through the end of the Big Ten baseball and softball seasons with expert analysis, player and coach interviews, features and exclusive access inside the diamond.
[EIGHT // all-american boys]
Purdue men’s basketball star JaJuan Johnson and Ohio State's Jared Sullinger were both named Associated Press first-team All-Americans this past week while Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor was given second-team honors. Penn State's Talor Battle, Purdue's E'Twaun Moore and Wisconsin's Jon Leuer were named to the honorable-mention list. In addition, Johnson and Sullinger were named among the 10 players on the John R. Wooden Award Men's All American team, which was announced Wednesday by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
[NINE // all-american girls]
On the women’s side, congratulations to Ohio State senior Jantel Lavender, who was named a first team All-American by the Associated Press on Tuesday. In addition, Iowa's Kachine Alexander and Jaime Printy, Michigan State's Kalisha Keane and Northwestern's Amy Jaeschke were selected as honorable mention All-Americans. This past week Lavender was also one of 10 players named as a USBWA All-American. She also earned her third All-America honor in the last week when the WBCA announced its State Farm All-America team at the NCAA Women's Final Four in Indianapolis. The four-time Big Ten Player of the Year led the conference in scoring and rebounding at 22.8 and 10.9 per game, respectively.
[TEN // winter winners in the classroom]
As the winter term of the 2010-11 school year comes to a close, the conference office recognized this past week a total of 524 winter sports athletes who have been named Academic All-Big Ten. The list of honored student-athletes features 37 men’s and 55 women’s basketball players, 42 men’s and 46 women’s gymnasts, 100 men’s and 181 women’s swimming and diving athletes and 63 wrestlers. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher. At least six Big Ten student-athletes have maintained unblemished GPAs. Five swimming and diving team members boast cumulative 4.0 GPAs in Iowa’s Anna Flessner, Michigan State’s Sarah Mory and Brian Rockwell and Purdue’s Lauren Gustafson and Katie Hingst. Also with a perfect GPA is Purdue women’s basketball player Chelsea Jones.
[ELEVEN // a new championship home for big ten golf]
Finally this week, Big Ten golf has a new home for its annual championship. French Lick Resort, located in southern Indiana, has been awarded the Big Ten Men's and Women's Golf Championships in 2012, 2013, and 2014. This marks the first time that both the men and women will compete at the same time and on a neutral site. The men's championships will be contested on the award-winning Pete Dye course, and the women's event will be held on the historic Donald Ross Course. Golfweek Magazine recently ranked the Dye course No. 1 and the Ross course No. 2 among the "Best Courses You Can Play" rankings in the state of Indiana.