This Week in the Big Ten

Indiana advanced to its first-ever NCAA Baseball Super Regional on Sunday.

June 2, 2013

[ONE // o-h-i-row!]
The No. 1 Ohio State rowing team made program history Sunday morning at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, claiming its first NCAA Rowing Championship after earning first-place finishes in the first varsity four and second varsity eight and a third-place finish in the first varsity eight. The Buckeyes are also the first Big Ten team to win a national team title in rowing.  The Ohio State first varsity four, made up of Taylore Urban, Sara Handa, Chloe Meyer, Aina Cid-Centelles and coxswain Dara Schnoll, crossed the finish line in 7:08.26, just under three seconds ahead of second-place USC. The second varsity eight crew of Daphne Socha, Katie Beletskaya, Silvia DeMatteis, Stephanie Johnson, Nicole Becks, Lauren Eckles, Samantha Fowle, Catherine Shields and coxswain Amanda Poll closed out the season with a perfect 12-0 record after recording a time of 6:27.86 to claim the national crown.  In addition to the Buckeyes, No. 13 Wisconsin and No. 14 Michigan also competed at the national meet.  For complete B1G coverage on the NCAA Championship, click here.

[TWO // o-h-i-rola!]
This past Monday, Ohio State's Blaz Rola took home the NCAA Men’s Tennis Singles Championship at the Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill. The Buckeye took down Virginia's Jarmere Jenkins (7-6 [8], 6-4) to claim the title.  Rola, the Buckeyes’ first NCAA singles champion in program history, added the individual singles title to a list of impressive career achievements which includes winning the 2012 NCAA Doubles Championship with Chase Buchanan, a Buckeye letterwinner from 2009-12.  On the women’s side, Nebraska’s Mary Weatherholt concluded her career with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Singles Championships following a 6-2, 6-4 loss to defending NCAA champion Nicole Gibbs. The junior from Stanford, who earned her second straight NCAA singles title, handed Weatherholt just her second loss of the season.  Weatherholt, who went 5-1 at the NCAA Singles Championships, finished with a 30-2 singles record as a senior, while amassing a school-record 123 career singles victories.

[THREE // illini men’s golf finishes season as ncaa runner-up]
Illinois placed second at the NCAA Men's Golf Championships this past Sunday, falling to Alabama in the match play finals. The Illini's Thomas Pieters secured a victory over Alabama's Justin Thomas (1 UP), but the Crimson Tide won 4-1 to clinch the title.  The Illini finish second at the NCAA Championships at the par-70, 7,320-yard Capital City Club Crabapple Course, was the highest finish in program history, besting the 1941 team's tie for fourth place. It also is the highest finish by a northern school at the NCAA Championships since Minnesota won the 2002 NCAA title.

[FOUR // leaders in the classroom]
As the 2012-13 academic year comes to a close, the Big Ten recognized Wednesday a total of 1,280 spring and at-large sports student-athletes who have been named to the Academic All-Conference team. The list of honored student-athletes featured 100 baseball players, 94 softball players, 147 women’s rowers, 46 men’s and 52 women’s golfers, 47 men’s and 46 women’s tennis athletes, 183 men’s and 240 women’s track and field standouts and 157 men’s (representing ice hockey, volleyball, lacrosse, fencing, rowing and pistol and rifle) and 168 women’s (representing bowling, water polo, ice hockey, fencing, sand volleyball, synchronized swimming, lightweight rowing, lacrosse and pistol and rifle) at-large athletes. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.  At least 24 Big Ten student-athletes have maintained unblemished cumulative GPAs.  For a look at those two-dozen standouts as well as all the other deserving honorees, click here.

[FIVE // twenty-four good sports]
The Big Ten announced on Thursday the 24 student-athletes named Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2012-13 academic year. These individuals were chosen from a group of over 300 student-athletes honored throughout the academic year who had displayed positive sportsmanship. One member of each varsity sports team on every campus was chosen by his or her institution as a Sportsmanship Award honoree. From each university’s list, two Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners were then selected. All of the Sportsmanship Award honorees have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, these student-athletes must be in good academic standing and must have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.   The 2013 Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners can be found by clicking here.

[SIX // hoosiers having super time at regionals]
Illinois and Indiana advanced to the baseball postseason this week as the Fighting Illini were sent to the Nashville Regional, while the top-seeded Hoosiers were slated to host the Bloomington Regional. At week’s end, Indiana earned its first-ever trip to the Super Regional following a thrilling regional championship, which was capped by a 6-1 victory over Austin Peay on Sunday.  IU had also defeated Austin Peay on Saturday by a score of 15-6, following by a come-from-behind 5-4 victory over Valparaiso in the regional opener on Friday.  No. 3 seed Illinois scored a 6-4 win over No. 2 Georgia Tech on Friday, but lost 10-4 to Vanderbilt on Saturday and dropped a 6-3 rematch against the Yellow Jackets on Sunday to end their season at 35-20.

[SEVEN // softball season concludes]
Michigan and Nebraska concluded their respective softball seasons this week at the Women’s College World Series.  The Huskers dropped a 4-3 decision to Washington in the opener, while the Wolverines were no-hit 7-1 by top-seeded Oklahoma on Thursday.  Severe storms forced the postponement of Friday’s contests and the rescheduling of Saturday’s Women’s College World Series lineup, so despite starting around midnight local time, Michigan ousted Arizona State 2-0 in an elimination game to stay alive.  Nebraska generated eight runs on 14 hits but fell short against Florida, 9-8, in 15 innings, which tied for the fourth-longest game in Women's College World Series history.  With the Huskers out of the tournament, Michigan looked to keep the Big Ten rolling, but the Wolverines were defeated 4-1 Sunday by Washington, which concluded the season for the Maize and Blue.

[EIGHT // fourteen track and field standouts honored in district]
Fourteen Big Ten track and field student-athletes have been named Capital One Academic All-District, it was announced this past week. The team's recognize the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. First-Team honorees advance to the Capital One Academic All-America Team ballot, where first- second- and third-team honorees will be selected in June.  Big Ten representatives included Illinois’ Marissa Golliday and Brandon Stryganek, Indiana’s Andy Bayer and Molly Hirt, Michigan’s Rebecca Addison, Jack Greenlee, Jillian Smith, and Kiley Tobel, Michigan State’s Julia Otwell, Minnesota’s Quentin Mege, Nebraska’s Bjorn Barrefors, Penn State’s Robby Creese and Lauren Kenney, and Wisconsin’s Elliot Krause.

[NINE // top of the class]
Minnesota senior outfielder Troy Larson has been named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America Team, it was announced on Friday. Larson, who boasts a 3.95 GPA in Genetics, Cell Biology and Bio Science, was honored on the second team. A first team Academic All-District selection, he was also named to the Big Ten Baseball All-Tournament Team two weeks ago.

[TEN // softball earns a handful of all-americans]
Five Big Ten softball standouts were named NFCA Division I All-Americans, it was announced on Wednesday afternoon. Penn State's Cassidy Bell was named a first-team honoree, Michigan's Sierra Romero and Nebraska's Tatum Edwards garnered second-team All-America accolades and Michigan's Ashley Lane and Minnesota's Kaitlyn Richardson earned third-team laurels. The five standouts were also named first-team All-Conference performers this past year, while Richardson was recently honored as an Academic All-American.

[ELEVEN // women’s golf nabs pair of all-americans]
Michigan State's Caroline Powers and Purdue's Paula Reto were named to the 2012-13 WGCA All-American Teams, it was announced on Wednesday. Reto was honored on the first team, while Powers earned a spot on the Honorable Mention squad.

[TWELVE // minnesota’s ryan the b1g reed choice]
Finally this week, Megan Ryan from the University of Minnesota has been named this year’s recipient of the Big Ten Conference William R. Reed Memorial Award. The award is named in honor of former Big Ten Commissioner William R. Reed who served the conference for more than 20 years.  The conference annually honors the former commissioner by presenting this award to a student journalist from one of the Big Ten campuses who, through his or her coverage during the previous academic term, best exemplifies the spirit, ideals and dedication to the Big Ten and intercollegiate athletics, which marked the life of William R. Reed.  A junior majoring in journalism with minors in global studies and management, Ryan is a sports reporter for the Minnesota Daily. She covered volleyball and women’s ice hockey, among other assignments, this past season and was honored by the Society of Professional Journalists and Associated Collegiate Press for her writing prowess.