Big Ten Announces Spring Academic All-Big Ten



June 1, 2006

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Park Ridge, Ill. - As the 2005-06 school year comes to a close, the Big Ten Conference recognizes a total of 948 spring and at-large sports student-athletes who have been named to the Academic All-Conference Team, the highest spring total in the last 12 years. The list of honored student-athletes features 95 baseball players, 65 softball players, 114 women's rowing athletes, 48 women's and 41 men's golfers, 41 women's and 41 men's tennis players, 170 women's and 121 men's track and field athletes and 115 women's (representing water polo, ice hockey, fencing, synchronized swimming, lightweight rowing, lacrosse, pistol and rifle) and 97 men's (representing ice hockey, volleyball, lacrosse, fencing, rowing, pistol and rifle) at-large athletes. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a career grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better.

At least eight Big Ten student-athletes from seven different schools have maintained unblemished GPAs. Track and field student-athletes lead the way with three honorees boasting perfect GPAs, including Iowa's Jake Berns (So., Pre-Business), and Michigan State's Nancy Boyd (So., Physiology) and Purdue's Anne Dillavou (So., Retail Management). In women's rowing, two student-athletes have managed 4.0 GPA's including Indiana's Megan Robb (So., Arts & Sciences) and Michigan State's Kate Burdick (So., Kinesiology). In tennis, Illinois' Momei Qu (So., Electrical Engineering) and Wisconsin's Nolan Polley (So., Mechanical Engineering) have boasted perfect GPAs, while Minnesota baseball standout Matt Nohelty (So., Computer Science) has also tallied a perfect 4.0.

The Big Ten Academic All-Conference award winners also achieved excellence outside of the classroom. For the second consecutive year, Northwestern's Garland Cooper (Jr., Communications Studies) was tabbed Big Ten Player of the Year in softball while leading the Wildcats to their first Women's College World Series appearance in 20 years. On the golf course, Purdue's Onnarin Sattayabanphot (Sr., Organizational Leadership & Supervision) led the Boilermakers to a first-place finish at the Big Ten Women's Golf Championships, while also collecting Athlete of the Year honors. On the men's side, Northwestern's David Merkow (Jr., Economics) posted six top-20 finishes during the 2005-06 campaign to be named Athlete of the Year. Ohio State's Ninett Kossowsky (Sr., Accounting) was tabbed Big Ten Rowing Athlete of the Year after leading her team to its second conference crown in school history. In tennis, Northwestern's Cristelle Grier (Sr., English) earned Athlete of the Year accolades, while also claiming the NCAA doubles crown and Illinois' Ryler DeHeart (Sr., Psychology) was named the league's Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive season. Penn State's Jennifer Leatherman (Sr., Recreation, Park & Tourism Management) was a double winner at the Big Ten Track and Field Championships, capturing the discus and hammer events while also picking up Outdoor Athlete of the Year honors.

Overall, the Big Ten Conference recognized 1,992 Academic All-Big Ten honorees during the 2005-06 academic year, the highest total in the last 12 seasons, eclipsing the previous best of 1,952 set just one year ago. Ohio State topped the Big Ten for the fourth straight year with 263 honorees this year, breaking the school's league record of 260 honored student-athletes during the 2004-05 campaign. Penn State ranked second with 243 Academic All-Big Ten picks this year, while Minnesota placed third with 231 honorees. The Nittany Lions still top all league programs with 2,553 Academic All-Big Ten picks over the last 12 years, followed by the Buckeyes with 2,393 selections.

School-by-School Breakdown

 

School

Honorees

Spring Sports

School

Honorees

Spring Sports

Illinois

60

8

Minnesota

120

10

Indiana

82

10

Northwestern

40

8

Iowa

59

9

Ohio State

161

20

Michigan

75

11

Penn State

128

13

Michigan State

83

10

Purdue

54

8

 

 

 

Wisconsin

86

12