April 30, 2014
Rosemont, Ill. -
As the Big Ten continues to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, senior student-athletes Meghan Lappan and Ryan LeBlanc were named the 2013-14 Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients for Indiana University, which were announced at the Spirit of Indiana Showcase at the IU Auditorium. Lappan is a member of the water polo team, while LeBlanc is a standout on Indiana’s wrestling team.
The conference's most exclusive award was the first of its kind in intercollegiate athletics to recognize academic and athletic excellence. The Big Ten Medal of Honor was first awarded in 1915 to one student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who had "attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work."
Big Ten schools currently feature more than 8,200 student-athletes, but only 24 earn this prestigious award on an annual basis. In the 99 years of the Medal of Honor, over 1,300 student-athletes have earned this distinction.
Lappan has been named Academic All-Big Ten and a member of the Collegiate Water Polo Association All-Academic Team for the past three years. The senior has started all but seven matches since she became a Hoosier in 2011. Known for her defensive powers, Lappan has career totals of 142 steals, 66 goals, and 90 assists.
A member of one of the best teams in IU water polo history, Lappan helped the 2012 squad to a 28-9 record, setting a program record for wins in a season and finishing the year ranked No. 14 in the country. In her freshman season Lappan and the team made the trip to the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in school history. She also helped this year’s squad repeat as back-to-back Western Division Champions, a feat that had never been done at IU.
Just this past weekend Lappan and her teammates won the CWPA championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Lappan was also presented with a Scholastic Achievement Award, Hoosier HERO award and Aline Robinson Mental Attitude Award at tonight’s ceremony.
The North Vancouver, B.C., Canada native will graduate this May with her degree in sociology. Lappan plans on moving back to Vancouver upon graduation with the goal of working with children and teaching water polo.
A redshirt senior, LeBlanc racked up 103 wins in his career, more than double his amount of losses (51). He also accumulated 25 major decisions, nine technical falls and 11 pins en route.
The three-time NCAA Qualifier advanced to the round of the 12 at the 2014 NCAA Championships, coming up just one win shy of becoming an All-American. LeBlanc earned Academic All-America laurels from the National Wrestling Coaches Association in 2013. His excellence in the classroom was recognized by the conference office as well, as a four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Off the mat LeBlanc served as the 2013-14 president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.