May 22, 2011
[ONE // purdue women’s golf finishes second at ncaa championships]
Purdue wrapped up the NCAA Women's Golf Championships in second place on Saturday, finishing four strokes behind UCLA to earn runner-up status. The Boilermakers finished the tournament at 25-over par, scoring a 4-over 292 on the final day of competition. Laura Gonzalez-Escallon placed third individually to lead Purdue, posting a score of 2-under for the tournament. Michigan State's Caroline Powers also earned a top-10 finish individually, tying for sixth place at even par. The Boilermakers' Numa Gulyanamitta joined Gonzalez-Escallon and Powers in the top 10, tying for eighth with a 72-hole score of 1-over. Minnesota and Ohio State also completed NCAA Championships play on Saturday as the Gophers placed 19th and the Buckeyes took 21st.
[TWO // five big ten men’s golf teams advanced to ncaa championships]
Five Big Ten teams advanced to the NCAA Men's Golf Championships based on their finish at their respective regional championships on Saturday. Michigan won the Indiana Regional, while Illinois followed in second and Iowa tied for fourth to advance out of the qualifier. Northwestern placed third at the Colorado Regional and Ohio State took fourth at the San Diego Regional to also earn spots in the championships field. The Wolverines posted a 9-under 275 on the final day of competition to close their tournament at 11-under par. The Fighting Illini finished two strokes behind at 9-under for the tournament, while the Hawkeyes finished at 13-over. Illinois' Luke Guthrie and Michigan's Lion Kim each carded final rounds of 6-under 65 to finish tied for first individually. The Wildcats entered the day tied for eighth, but a round of 12-under 276 helped them jump into third place and qualify for the NCAA Championships. David Lipsky led the charge for Northwestern, finishing the final round with a 4-under 68 to close the event tied for seventh. The Buckeyes finished Round 3 with a 2-under 286 to lock up their spot in the championships. Michael Cress tied for fourth individually, firing a 4-under 68 to pace Ohio State. The 2011 NCAA Men's Golf Championships will take place on May 31-June 5 at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla.
[THREE // ohio state men advance in ncaa tennis action]
The Ohio State men’s tennis team has advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championship at the Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif, following a 4-2 victory over Baylor. The Buckeyes will meet Virginia at 3 p.m. ET Monday for a chance to play in the championship match. OSU opened the Round of 16 with a 4-0 shutout over Tulsa on Thursday. Also competing in the Round of 16 was Illinois, which fell to top-seed Virginia, 4-0,on Thursday. On the women’s side, both Michigan and Northwestern bowed out of NCAA action in the Round of 16. The Wolverines fell 4-2 to Miami on Friday, while the Wildcats lost to top-seeded Stanford by the same score.
[FOUR // big ten concludes softball season at ncaa championships]
Three Big Ten softball teams concluded their respective seasons this past week at the NCAA Softball Championships. Michigan and Penn State both advanced to the regional final, but dropped heartbreaking losses on Sunday. The Wolverines fell 2-1 to Kentucky to end their season at 53-6. The Nittany Lions closed their season with a 31-24-1 record after a 3-1 loss to Oregon. On Saturday, Indiana dropped a 3-1 contest to Illinois State to conclude its season at 37-18. For a complete look at all the Big Ten action in NCAA play this past week, click here.
[FIVE // conference honors announced in rowing; four teams advance to ncaa action]
Four Big Ten rowing teams were selected to the 2011 NCAA Division I Rowing Championships, the NCAA Rowing Committee announced on Tuesday. The championships will be held May 27-29 at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center in Gold River, Calif. Congratulations to Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin, which each earned bids to the championships and are seeking their first NCAA title. The regatta is comprised of 16 teams, and each time is required to field two boats of eight rowers and one boat of four rowers. On Wednesday, the conference office announced the rowing individual award winners as chosen by the conference coaches. Michigan State's Laura Cowal was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year, while Michigan's Chrissy Holm won Freshman of the Year laurels. Ohio State's Andy Teitelbaum was named Coach of the Year after guiding the Buckeyes to their first Big Ten Championship since 2006.
[SIX // big ten recognizes postseason honors in softball; regional honors also released]
The Big Ten also announced on Wednesday the 2011 All-Conference softball teams and individual award winners. Michigan’s Amanda Chidester was named Big Ten Player of the Year, while Wolverine head coach Carol Hutchins garnered Coach of the Year honors. Indiana senior Morgan Melloh was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, while Minnesota pitcher Sara Moulton earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year accolades from the conference’s coaches. Three All-Big Ten teams and 11 Sportsmanship Award honorees were also recognized. In addition, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association announced on Thursday that 17 Big Ten softball standouts have been named All-Region performers, including 10 first team honorees. Click here to see the complete list of honorees.
[SEVEN // outdoor track and field awards released]
The Big Ten announced on Wednesday the outdoor track and field All-Big Ten teams and individual awards winners from the 2011 season. On the men's side, Iowa's Justin Austin was named Track Athlete of the Year and of the Championships, Ohio State's Michael Hartfield was named Field Athlete of the Year and of the Championships, Wisconsin's Reed Connor won Freshman of the Year honors and Larry Wieczorek was voted Big Ten Coach of the Year. For the women, Ohio State's Christina Manning won Track Athlete of the Year and of the Championships honors, while Michigan State's Beth Rohl received Field Athlete of the Year and of the Championships laurels. Wisconsin's Emily Sisson earned Freshman of the Year distinction and Ohio State's Karen Dennis was named Coach of the Year.
[EIGHT // welcome to the hall of fame]
The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame announced Tuesday the 2011 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision class. Michigan State's Gene Washington, Minnesota's Sandy Stephens, Ohio State's Eddie George and former Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr were on the list of honorees. Nebraska's Will Shields was also included on the 14-player list, after leading the Cornhuskers to back-to-back Big Eight crowns, a unanimous All-American honoree and a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award.
[NINE // illinois, michigan state share baseball title; big ten releases tournament bracket]
The conference office announced on Saturday the bracket for the 2011 Big Ten Baseball Tournament, held May 25-28 at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio. Illinois and Michigan State finished the regular season as Big Ten Co-Champions, each with 15-9 Big Ten records, while the Fighting Illini earned the No. 1 seed based on their head-to-head record against the Spartans. Illinois won the program’s 29th Big Ten title and first since 2005, which is the last time the Illini were the tournament’s No. 1 seed. Illinois enters the tournament as the top seed for the third time since the field was first seeded for the 1988 event. The Illini will be playing in their 18th conference tournament, including their sixth in the last seven years. Michigan State earned its fourth Big Ten title and first since 1979. The Spartans are the tournament’s No. 2 seed, marking the program’s highest ever seed. Michigan State will make its ninth Big Ten Tournament appearance and second in the last three seasons. Purdue picked up the No. 3 seed, followed by No. 4 Ohio State, No. 5 Minnesota, and No. 6 Penn State. Tournament action gets underway on Wednesday at 12:05 p.m. ET as Ohio State faces Minnesota. Game 2 will begin at approximately 3:35 p.m. ET and will feature Purdue and Penn State. Illinois and Michigan State will begin play on Wednesday and will face the winners of Tuesday’s games. All games will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.
[TEN // success in the classroom]
Twenty-two Big Ten student athletes earned Capital One Academic All-District honors as announced on Thursday. Ten student-athletes received first-team recognition while 12 picked up second-team honors. The first-team honorees are now eligible for Academic All-America consideration. The complete list of Big Ten Academic All-District award recipients can be found by clicking here. In addition, 23 Big Ten wrestlers have received NWCA All-Academic honors as announced on Thursday. Ten of the 11 conference teams are represented by at least one wrestler on the list, led by Purdue with four honorees. Four Big Ten squads also earned All-Academic Team recognition as Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State each finished with top-30 team grade-point averages. The complete list of All-Academic wrestlers can be found by clicking here.
[ELEVEN // so hard to say goodbye]
Finally this week, the Big Ten said goodbye to three men who represented the conference and their respective institutions with class and dignity. First, we congratulate Illinois athletic director Ron Guenther, who announced this past week he is retiring from his post on June 30. Guenther has spent 19 years at Illinois and is the longest-tenured athletic director in the conference. We wish Ron the best of luck in his retirement. The following day, we learned former Indiana and Michigan State wrestling coach Doug Blubaugh passed away at the age of 76. He was an assistant in East Lansing from 1966-72 and then spent 12 seasons as the head coach in Bloomington. Last, but certainly not least, the conference office lost one of its own this past week, and college football lost one of its most respected representatives. Former Big Ten supervisor of football officials Dave Parry passed away Monday at the age of 76. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said “We are saddened to learn of the passing of our good friend and colleague Dave Parry. Dave was a leader in the game of football and had the unique ability and temperament to move seamlessly between officials and coaches both at the professional and collegiate levels, earning the respect of all.” Dave took the time to speak to anyone, which was mentioned in this blog post by Dennis Dodds of CBS Sports, and we will miss him greatly!