May 2, 2008
by Jeff Smith
[ONE // yet another big ten champion to be crowned]
One week after seeing four teams named Big Ten Champion, another will be crowned this weekend as Michigan hosts the conference Rowing Championships on Saturday. The event will take place at Belleville Lake, in Belleville, Mich., with morning heats beginning at 8 a.m. ET. Minnesota, which is coming off a Boat of the Week honor this week, is the defending conference champion. For all championship information, include results of the event, be sure to log on to Michigan's event headquarters page found here!
[TWO // spartan golfers defend home course and conference title]
The Michigan State men's golf team successfully defended its home course at the Men's Golf Championship last weekend. The Spartans (1,173) claimed their second straight Big Ten crown with a four-stroke victory over Minnesota (1,177). Illinois (1,182), Indiana (1,183) and Michigan (1,194) finished in the top five, while Ohio State (1,196) and Northwestern (1,196) tied for sixth. Rounding out the field was Wisconsin (1,199), Purdue (1,209), Iowa (1,212) and Penn State (1,231). Congratulations to Indiana's Jorge Campillo, whose 10-under-par 278 and final round 67 was enough to hold off local favorite Ryan Brehm (280) of Michigan State for a two-shot victory in the individual race.
The conference office announced Tuesday the 12-member All-Big Ten teams along with several postseason honors. Indiana's Campillo was named Player of the Year, while Michigan State first-year head coach Sam Puryear was tabbed as Coach of the Year. Illinois' Scott Langley was named Freshman of the Year by the league coaches. A full list of the postseason awards and honors can be found by clicking here.
[THREE // purdue women's golf victorious in rout]
The sixth-ranked Purdue women's golf team captured its third conference championship this past weekend with an impressive 21-stroke victory over Michigan State. The Boilermakers (1,169) were just two strokes shy of setting the conference's all-time lowest 72-hole team score, which Purdue set at 1,167 in 2000 en route to its first league title. Michigan State (1,190) finished second at Penn State's Blue Course, followed by Ohio State (1,202), Indiana (1,214) and Michigan (1,217) in the top five. Wisconsin (1,223) and Northwestern (1,226) followed in sixth and seventh, respectively, and Iowa (1,231) and Minnesota (1,231) tied for eighth. The host Nittany Lions (1,236) were 10th and Illinois (1,241) rounded out the field. Purdue recorded four golfers in the top 10, including Big Ten medalist Maria Hernandez and runner-up Christel Boeljon.
All-Conference awards and postseason honors were announced by the league office Monday, which featured a Boilermaker sweep of the major accolades. Hernandez was named both the Big Ten Player of the Year and Mary Fossum Award winner, while Devon Brouse and Maude Aimee LeBlanc were named Coach and Freshman of the Year, respectively. For a complete list of the postseason honors and All-Conference teams, click here.
[FOUR // four women's teams selected to ncaa golf regionals]
The NCAA announced Monday that four Big Ten women's golf programs had been selected for regional competition. Conference champion Purdue earned the league's automatic qualifier and was sent to the Central regional, which will be played at the University of Texas Golf Course in Austin. Indiana will travel to the UGA Golf Course in Athens, Ga., to compete in the East regional, while Michigan State and Ohio State head to the West regional to tackle the Lincoln Hills Golf Club in Lincoln, Calif. All regionals will be played May 8-10, and eight teams and two individuals will advance from each tournament to the national championship.
[FIVE // buckeyes remain rulers of the men's tennis scene]
Ohio State captured its third consecutive Men's Tennis Championship this past weekend at Iowa. The second-ranked and top-seeded Buckeyes defeated No. 3 seed Illinois in the finals of the Big Ten Tournament on Sunday. The victory marked the team's fourth postseason title in the last seven years. OSU has now captured 39 straight Big Ten matches and is 90-5 in its last 95 contests, including the postseason.
[SIX // the next one is for the toes...]
Should Northwestern women's tennis coach Claire Pollard win another Big Ten Championship next season, that is exactly where she is going to have to put her 2009 ring. That's because this past weekend the Wildcats earned their 10th consecutive conference championship and captured the postseason tournament - a ring for all 10 fingers! The championship broke Indiana's record of nine straight titles from 1987-95 and helped Northwestern extend its conference winning streak to 63 matches. During Pollard's 10-year tenure, NU is 128-6 overall and 34-0 in conference postseason play.
[SEVEN // men's and women's tennis teams selected for NCAA play]
The NCAA office announced Tuesday that six conference men's and five women's tennis teams were selected for the 2008 NCAA Tennis Championships. Top-ranked Northwestern earned the No. 1 overall seed in the women's bracket, while Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio State were awarded at-large bids. On the men's side, the Buckeyes grabbed the No. 2 overall seed, with Illinois and Michigan receiving the 15th and 16 seeds, respectively. Also making the field on the men's side was Indiana and Wisconsin. First- and second-round competition for both tournaments will be conducted May 9-11.
[EIGHT // nfl draft concludes with 28 big ten gridiron standouts selected]
A total of 28 Big Ten football stars were given the opportunity to play at the next level this past week by being selected in the 2008 NFL Draft. Two conference standouts - Michigan's Jake Long and Ohio State's Vernon Gholston - were taken first (Miami) and six (N.Y. Jets), respectively. A complete recap of the NFL Draft can be found in this release. Several additional Big Ten players have been signing free agent contracts this week with teams from across the league. Fans are encouraged to check out their favorite school's website to see who all can now stake claim to being a professional football player!
[NINE // from future stars to hall of famers]
Congratulations to three football figures with Big Ten football bloodlines who were named Thursday to the College Football Hall of Fame. Former Minnesota coach Lou Holtz, Northwestern All-American linebacker and current Wildcat head coach Pat Fitzgerald, and former Ohio State head coach John Cooper were apprised of their selections on Thursday. Cooper is the second-winningest coach (111-43-4) in Buckeye history and is the only coach to guide both a Pac-10 (Arizona State) and Big Ten team (Ohio State) to a Rose Bowl victory. Speaking of the Rose Bowl, Fitzgerald helped the Wildcats to win in Pasadena in 1996. He was a two-time first-team All-American and Bronko Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik award winner as the nation's top defensive player. Holtz coached at Minnesota during the 1984 and 1985 campaigns and helped lead the Golden Gophers to the 1985 Independence Bowl.
[TEN // softball shocker: will it be michigan or northwestern?]
Entering the final weekend of the softball regular season, both Michigan and Northwestern sit tied atop the Big Ten standings at 16-2 in conference play. Each team had a chance to improve its position last week when the two squads faces each other, but the series ended in a split, which was highlighted by the Big Ten Network in this video recap. Michigan closes out the regular season this weekend at Penn State (6-10), while Northwestern will remain home to face Michigan State (8-10).
[ELEVEN // dorenkott switching pools, not conferences]
Finally, Ohio State named Bill Dorenkott its head women's swimming coach Tuesday, after he had served the past 10 years in the same role at Penn State. He guided the Penn State men's team for seven years as well. The new Buckeye coach brings with him an impressive resume from State College. In the 10 years he spent with the women's team, the Nittany Lions captured three Big Ten Championships (2002, 2005, 2006) and never finished lower than fourth at the conference meet.