May 15, 2011
[ONE // iowa men, ohio state women claim big ten track and field championships]
The final day of the 2011 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the Francis Cretzmeyer Track at the University of Iowa saw the host Hawkeyes earn its first men’s outdoor conference championship since 1967. In one of the closest championships in conference history, Iowa finished with 125.50 points, besting second-place Minnesota with 123 points and third-place Ohio State with 109 tallies. Indiana (94.5), Wisconsin (90), Penn State (74) and Illinois (62) placed fourth through seventh, while Purdue (54), Michigan (52.5) and Michigan State (34.5) rounded out the field. On the women’s side, Ohio State earned its first-ever outdoor team championship, after the Buckeyes finished with 135 points, followed by Penn State (122) and Indiana (96). Illinois (90) and Michigan State (74.5) placed fourth and fifth, respectively, while Wisconsin (74), Minnesota (63.5), Iowa (59), Purdue (56) and Michigan (49) rounded out the field.
[TWO // buckeyes take home women’s rowing crown]
At the 2011 Big Ten Rowing Championships on Lake Lilly at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Ind., Ohio State won its third Big Ten title Saturday off the strength of two first-place efforts. With wins in the second varsity eight and second varsity four, the Buckeyes totaled 142 points, ahead of second-place Michigan (124) and third-place Wisconsin (121). Michigan State was fourth with 111 points followed by Minnesota (68), Indiana (53) and Iowa (25). Indiana’s Asja Zero, Iowa’s Jessica Novack, Michigan’s Felice Mueller, Michigan State’s Stephanie Bochenek, Laura Cowal, and Kellie LaPointe, Minnesota’s Cassie Drozynski, Ohio State’s Ulrike Denker and Claudia Schiwy, and Wisconsin’s Jackie Koykkar all earned first-team All-Big Ten honors. Second-team accolades and Sportsmanship Award honorees were also announced Saturday and those honors can be found here.
[THREE // michigan earns big ten softball title and ncaa bid; two others do too]
Congratulations to the Michigan softball team, which secured the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Championship after clinching the outright Big Ten Championship on Saturday. Michigan's Jordan Taylor threw a complete-game no-hitter, allowing just two walks while striking out six in an 8-0 shutout over rival Michigan State. Offensively, Ashley Lane led the Wolverines with a three-RBI effort to help Michigan end the regular season with a 51-4 record. The win gave Michigan its 19th appearance in the national tournament and its 17th consecutive berth. In addition to the Wolverines, two other Big Ten teams earned NCAA bids in Indiana (37-16) and Penn State (27-22).
[FOUR // seven teams, three individuals chosen for ncaa men’s golf regionals]
Seven Big Ten teams and three individual conference golfers were selected this past Tuesday to compete in the NCAA Men's Golf Regionals. The Big Ten contingent will be spread across five of the six regional sites, with the top five teams and top individual not on one of those teams advancing from each regional to the NCAA Championships. Three regionals will host 13 teams and 10 individuals while the other three sites will welcome 14 teams and five individuals. The regionals are scheduled for May 19-21. Four Big Ten teams will travel to the Indiana Regional with Big Ten Champion and No. 2 seed Illinois leading the pack. Iowa will head to the same regional as the No. 3 seed, while host Indiana holds the No. 7 seed and Michigan will compete as the No. 9 seed. Ohio State will compete in the San Diego Regional as the No. 5 seed. Minnesota's Donald Constable and Erik Van Rooyen will also head west to compete in the regional as individuals. Purdue earned a selection to the Arizona Regional, where it holds the No. 9 seed. Northwestern will head to the Colorado Regional as the No. 10 seed, while Penn State's T.J. Howe rounds out the group of individual competitors after being selected to compete at the Virginia Tech Regional.
[FIVE // illinois and ohio state men’s tennis advance to round of 16]
Five Big Ten teams – Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio State -- competed Friday in the NCAA Men's Tennis Championships, with the Fighting Illini and Buckeyes advancing to the Round of 16 after two wins in the tournament. Illinois blanked Drake 4-0 in the opening round and backed it with a 4-1 result over No. 16 North Carolina. Ohio State blanked Ball State 4-0 on Friday and took out Notre Dame by the same count on Saturday. Falling in first-round matchups were Indiana (4-3, LSU), Michigan (4-2, Maryland) and Minnesota (4-3, Fresno State).
[SIX // michigan and northwestern advance in ncaa women’s tennis action]
Congratulations to a pair of Big Ten women’s tennis teams on earning a pair of wins this past weekend in the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship. Michigan advanced to the Round of 16 with an opening 4-0 shutout of Akron, followed by a 4-1 result over Tulsa. Northwestern used two 4-0 shutouts to advance to next week’s action, defeating IPFW on Friday and Notre Dame on Saturday. Click here for a complete recap of Big Ten women’s tennis action.
[SEVEN // big ten tennis takes home numerous regional accolades]
Thirteen Big Ten tennis representatives earned ITA regional honors this past week, including eight on the men’s side. Two head coaches – Michigan State’s Gene Orlando (Midwest) and Minnesota’s Geoff Young (Central) -- were tabbed Wilson/ITA Regional Coach of the Year, while six student-athletes also received individual awards. Illinois’ Abe Souza (Midwest) and Indiana’s Santiago Gruter (Ohio Valley) were given the Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award, while Michigan’s Jason Jung (Midwest) was named the ITA/Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award winner for his region. Ohio State’s Matt Allare (Midwest) and Blaz Rola (Midwest) were named Senior and Rookie of the Year, respectively, while Michigan’s Evan King (Midwest) was tabbed the Player to Watch. On the women’s side, three student-athletes and two coaches received recognition. Michigan’s Ronni Bernstein (Midwest) was named Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year and Brooke Bolender (Midwest) was tabbed the Rookie of the Year. Minnesota’s Mariana Spilca (Central) earned the Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship, while Northwestern’s Maria Mosolova (Midwest) and Jackie Holden (Midwest) were selected as the Senior and Assistant Coach of the Year, respectively.
[EIGHT // big ten football goes prime time]
Big Ten institutions released game times and television plans this past Thursday for seven home football contests to appear in prime time on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. This schedule includes games for each of the three teams that shared the conference title last season, the first night contest at Michigan Stadium and Nebraska’s first two Big Ten matchups. In all, six Big Ten schools will play in prime time on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2, featuring games for Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin. Additional prime time contests to appear on the Big Ten Network will be announced at a later date. The non-conference home schedule will hit prime time on the opening Thursday, as ESPN will kick off the 2011 campaign on Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. ET with UNLV playing at Wisconsin. The Badgers shared the Big Ten title last season and advanced to their first Rose Bowl Game since 2000.
[NINE // conference student-athletes ready to represent the usa]
This past week the Big Ten saw several student-athletes in other sports recognized on a national level. In men’s basketball, Illinois' Meyers Leonard, Iowa's Melsahn Basabe, Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. and Michigan State's Keith Appling were among the list of seventeen players that have accepted invitations from the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee to attend the 2011 USA Basketball Men's U19 World Championship Team training camp. In volleyball, two student-athletes were named to the USA Volleyball Women's Junior National Team, the organization announced on Thursday. Illinois' Jennifer Bonilla and Northwestern's Stephanie Holthus were selected to the 12-player roster that will represent the United Stats at the FIVB Women's Junior World Championship this summer in Peru. Incoming Illinois freshman Liz McMahon was selected as an alternate.
[TEN // stars of the diamond]
Big Ten student-athletes were also honored this past week on the diamond. In softball, Michigan pitcher Jordan Taylor was named one of 10 finalists for the 2011 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, it was announced on Wednesday. Three finalists for the list of 10 will be announced on May 25, and the winner will be honored on May 31 at the NCAA Women's College World Series banquet. In baseball, Michigan State's Jeff Holm and Minnesota's Nick O'Shea, reigning Big Ten Co-Players of the Week, were named to the College Baseball Foundation National All-Star Lineup. Holm was also named National Player of the Week by the NCBWA and by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper after hitting .538 and slugging 1.385 with five runs scored and nine RBI in the Spartans' weekend sweep last week. Finally, O’Shea and three other players were named to the Capital One Academic All-District Baseball First Teams. Joining O’Shea was Iowa’s Kurt Lee (District VII), Michigan State’s Brandon Eckerle (District IV), and Minnesota’s AJ Pettersen (District V).
[ELEVEN // a new buckeye mentor in o-h-i-o]
Last but not least, congratulations and welcome to new Ohio State men’s gymnastics coach Rustam Sharipov, who was introduced by the school on Wednesday. Sharipov joins the Buckeyes after spending the last six seasons as an assistant coach at Oklahoma. The Kharkov, Ukraine, native also has three Olympic medals, including two golds, to his credit.