June 6, 2008
by Jeff Smith
[ONE // big ten player of the year leads conference contingent at ncaas]
Indiana's Jorge Campillo, the Big Ten Player of the Year and conference champion, nearly missed capturing the NCAA title last week at Purdue as the junior finished runner-up at the NCAA Championships with a score of 289 (75-70-72-72). His 1-over-par total was three shots back of the 2008 medalist. Campillo's Hoosiers, along with Illinois and Penn State, missed the final round cut, along with Wisconsin individual Dan Woltman, who shot 230 (82-71-77). Illinois finished with a 916 (302-302-312), followed by Indiana's 920 (313-310-297) and Penn State's 926 (315-298-313). Nittany Lion sophomore Kevin Foley, last year's Big Ten Freshman of the Year and the focus of a recent bigten.org feature, made the individual cut in the tournament and finished the event tied for 23rd at 303 (75-73-74-81).
[TWO // three conference boats post top-10 ncaa rowing finishes]
Three Big Ten rowing squads placed in the top 10 of the 2008 NCAA Championships, held this past weekend. Conference champion Michigan State led all league boats in sixth place with 38 points. Ohio State followed closely in seventh with 34 points, while Wisconsin was 10th with 25 points. In the individual races, Michigan State placed fifth in the Four Grand Final (7:34.56) and sixth in the Varsity Grand Finals (6:40.26), while Ohio State finished second in the Second Varsity Grand Final (6:44.87).
[THREE // wolverines conclude conference's baseball season]
Following a rain-delayed NCAA regional game last Friday, Michigan took to its home field last Saturday to complete the contest for a 7-5 win over Kentucky. Hurler Zach Putnam picked up the win, improving his season record to 9-0, while allowing just one run on six hits with four strikeouts in five innings of work. Later that evening the Wolverines dropped a 4-3 heartbreaker to Arizona and was forced out of the tournament on Sunday with a 12-6 loss to Kentucky, marking the end to the Big Ten baseball season.
[FOUR // big ten squads compete at ncaa track and field regionals]
Several Big Ten women's track and field teams found success at this past week's regional competition as Penn State placed second in the East, Minnesota was third in the Midwest, and Michigan, Illinois and Purdue finished fourth through sixth, respectively, in the Mideast. Other notables included Ohio State (10th), Wisconsin (11th), Michigan State (T-22nd) and Indiana (35th) in the Mideast and Iowa (18th) in the Midwest.
On the men's side, four teams cracked the top 10 in the Mideast. Wisconsin, Purdue, Michigan and Indiana finished seventh through 10th, respectively, followed by Illinois (17th), Ohio State (29th) and Michigan State (36th). Iowa and Minnesota were 12th and 18th, respectively in the Midwest, while Penn State finished 25th in the East.
[FIVE // seven baseball standouts taken in first round of mlb draft]
Thursday was the day several Big Ten baseball standouts dreamed of, and for at least seven conference stars, those dreams came true. Seven Big Ten players were taken on the first day of the Major League Baseball Draft, led by second-round selection Josh Lindbolm of Purdue. The right-handed pitcher was tabbed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as the 61st overall pick. Illinois' centerfielder Kyle Hudson went to Baltimore at No. 116 in the fourth round, followed by Penn State pitcher Drew O'Neil at No. 120 to the Chicago White Sox and Purdue outfield Ryne White to Arizona at No. 138. In the fifth round, Michigan shortstop Jason Christian was selected by Oakland with pick No. 154 and teammate Steve Putnam went 171st by Cleveland. Closing out the first day in the sixth round was Ohio State centerfielder J.B. Shuck, who was drafted 182nd overall by Houston. For complete draft coverage, follow this link to MLB.com.
[SIX // northwestern's nielsen claims honda sports award]
Congratulations to Northwestern junior Hannah Nielsen on being named the 2008 Honda Sports Award winner as the nation's top collegiate female lacrosse player. The honor was based on the results of national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program, now in its 32nd year. Nielsen, who recently helped NU to its fourth straight national championship by scoring three goals and three assists in the NCAA championship game, is not the first Wildcat to receive the award. Kristen Kjellman claimed the last three awards making her the only player ever to win the award in three consecutive seasons. Nielsen is currently the NCAA record holder for 69 assists in a single season, and second in the nation with 114 points.
[SEVEN // former illini tennis star wins pro event]
It's always good to see former Big Ten student-athletes finding success among the professional ranks. Amer Delic, the league's 2001 Freshman of the Year and a 2003 NCAA Singles Champion while at Illinois, captured the Countrywide Classic USTA Challenger last Sunday in Carson, Calif. Ranked 150th in the world, Delic entered as the No. 3 seed and topped No. 5 seed and defending champion Alex Bogomolov, 7-6 (5), 6-4. The victory was Delic's second on the USTA ProCircuit for the Jacksonville, Fla., native this year. Delic won the singles title in Dallas earlier in the year on January 28.
[EIGHT // purdue names new women's swimming and diving coach]
They may have had to go another Big Ten campus to find him, but Purdue is bringing back one of its own to lead the women's swimming and diving team. John Klinge was hired Wednesday as the new Boilermaker head coach after spending time as an assistant at Ohio State. Brought in as the program's seventh coach in the 38-year history, Klinge is no stranger to success in the pool wearing the black and gold. A two-time All-Conference honoree, Klinge graduated in 1994 and left as the school's second-fastest swimmer in four events: 100 and 200 backstroke, 200 and 400 individual medley.
[NINE // on his back nine]
From one man earning his first head coaching experience to a great man who has out-served his peers during his time at Ohio State. Buckeye men's golf coach Jim Brown, the longest tenured mentor at OSU, announced this week that he will be retiring at the end of the 2008-09 campaign after 36 years as head coach. BigTen.org spent time with 1966 OSU graduate earlier in the year talking about his time in Columbus. He is currently the winningest active coach in the NCAA with a career record of 5,609-1,791-43 and 157 tournament victories. Remarkably, of his 35 years in Columbus, he has led the Buckeyes to NCAA competition 31 times, which have included 11 top 10 NCAA finishes and the 1979 national title. The two-time National Coach of the Year won the conference's honor three times and has been responsible for a league-record 17 Big Ten championships and 18 conference medalists. Congratulations on your decision coach and may next year be one of your finest. You have certainly deserved it.
[TEN // birdies propel bastel to top of leaderboard at lpga championship]
Staying on the golf course, how about 2000 Big Ten Champion and 2002 Player of the Year Emily Bastel? The former Michigan State Spartan opened with a bogey-free 66 in the first round of the LPGA Championship Thursday to tie for the lead. Last year's Futures Tour money title winner, Bastel finds herself atop the leaderboard in a major - just the sixth major tournament in which she has played. Here's hoping to a strong second round and a promising weekend!
[ELEVEN // honored as good sports]
Finally this week, we end by honoring something that should always come first in competition, especially in the Big Ten Conference, and that is sportsmanship. This week the Big Ten announced the 22 student-athletes named Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2007-08 academic year. The chosen competitors were selected from a group of 275 and are made up of a male and a female student-athlete from each of the 11 campuses. When broken down, sportsmanship is not the only thing these 22 competitors excelled at this year. The group includes 14 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, eight All-Big Ten selections, and Christy Finch of Northwestern lacrosse and Melissa Walbridge of Penn State women's volleyball led their respective squads to national championships this past season. For a complete list of the award winners, follow this link.