This Week in the Big Ten

June 11, 2017

[ONE // hoosiers and hawkeyes pace big ten at ncaa outdoor track and field championships]
The Iowa men’s and Indiana women’s track and field programs led the Big Ten contingent at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships that concluded Saturday in Eugene, Oregon. The Hawkeyes placed 17th overall with 15 team points, while the Hoosiers netted 11 points to place 19th. Michigan (10) and Purdue (10) tied for 21st, Penn State (9) was 29th, Iowa (4) was 48th, Michigan State (3) was 52nd, Wisconsin (2) was 62nd, and Ohio State (1) was 72nd. On the men’s side, Penn State (14) finished 20th, followed by Illinois (8), Michigan State (8) and Ohio State (8) tied for 33rd, Michigan (6) and Minnesota (6) tied for 41st, Nebraska (2) in 69th, and Rutgers (1) in 74th. Individually, Michigan’s Jaimie Phlean won the national title in the women’s 1,500 meters (4:13.78), Michigan State’s Justine Kiprotich placed second in the men’s 1,500 meters (3:43.50), and Penn State’s Isaiah Harris was second in the men’s 800 meters. Picking up third-place finishes were Illinois’ David Kendziera (13.59) in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, Minnesota’s Luca Wieland (8,146) in the decathlon, Penn State’s Michael Shuey (76.42m) in the men’s javelin and Tori Gerlach (9:46.76) in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, and Iowa (3:01.91) in the men’s 4x400-meter relay.

[TWO // conference challenge matchups made]
The matchups for the 19th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge have been determined, and will be played in late November. The Challenge matches all 14 Big Ten teams against all but one ACC member. Dates, network assignments and tip times will be announced at a later date. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all 14 games of the event, matching top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioner’s Cup. All games will also be available to stream via the ESPN app. Fifteen teams competed in the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, and several games will be rematches from prior Challenges. The ACC took home the Commissioner’s Cup with nine wins in the 2016 Challenge. The Big Ten won eight of the 14 matchups in 2014 and 2015, and 2012 and 2013 were both ties.

[THREE // from butler to the buckeyes]
Gene Smith, Ohio State senior vice president and Wolfe Foundation endowed athletics director, announced Friday the hiring of Butler's Chris Holtmann as the next head men's basketball coach of the Buckeyes. Holtmann, who completed his third year with the Bulldogs in 2016-17, has agreed to an eight-year contract with Ohio State worth about $3 million annually, Smith said. Final details of the deal are being finalized and will be released at a later date. In three seasons at Butler, Holtmann compiled a record of 70-31 as a member of the BIG EAST conference. In six years as a head coach, which includes three years at Gardner-Webb (44-54), his career record is 114-85. His teams have won at least 20 games in each of the last four seasons, including a 25-9 record a year ago. Butler advanced to the NCAA Tournament in all three seasons with Holtmann as the head coach. He was the 2016-17 BIG EAST Coach of the Year, the 2013 Big South Conference Coach of the Year and a Naismith National Coach of the Year Finalist in 2014-15.

[FOUR // maryland’s stukenberg wins honda award]
Maryland University midfielder Zoe Stukenberg was named the Honda Sport Award winner for women’s lacrosse, as announced Thursday. The Honda Award has been presented annually by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards for the past 41 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics.” With this honor, Stukenberg becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2017 Honda Cup. Stukenberg led the Terps to a 23-0 record and the NCAA Championship in 2017. She was named the Tewaaraton Award recipient and the IWLCA National Midfielder of the Year. Also a standout in the classroom, Stukenberg graduated last month with a 4.0 grade-point average and a degree in biological sciences. She was named a CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American and earned the NCAA’s Elite 90 Award three times. Stukenberg was also Maryland’s Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient.

[FIVE // six lacrosse scholars earn usila all-america accolades]
Six Big Ten men’s lacrosse students from four institutions were named USILA/Nike Division I Scholar All-Americans, the organization announced on Thursday. Johns Hopkins’ John Crawley and Nick Fields, Ohio State’s Tyler Pfister and Jake Withers, Penn State’s Nick Aponte and Rutgers’ Connor Murphy earned the annual honor. In 1989 the USILA Scholar All-America Program was established to recognize student-athletes from USILA member institutions who have distinguished themselves academically, athletically and as citizens of their communities. 

[SIX // eighteen standouts named to crca all-region teams]
The Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) announced the 2017 Division I All-Region award-winners this past Tuesday, with 18 Big Ten students earning recognition. These awards recognize the outstanding performances of rowers and coxswains from each of the five regions, organized into first and second-team selections. Nominated student-athletes are evaluated on the strength of their team’s regional finish, coaches recommendations and 2,000-meter erg score. Nominees must be eligible student-athletes who have competed in their teams’ varsity boat in 75 percent of races this season. For a look at the Big Ten honorees, click here.

[SEVEN / hawkeyes named rowing regional staff of the year]
The University of Iowa women's rowing staff was named Region 4 Staff of the Year, the College Rowing Coaches Association announced this past week. The Regional Staff of the Year Award recognizes a staff that had outstanding success during the current season, demonstrated great team improvement from the prior season, fulfilled the team's potential, and demonstrated a high level of professionalism and integrity as a coach. This year, the coaching staff led the Hawkeyes to their second NCAA Championship berth in program history, ending a 16-year drought dating back to 2001. The team broke its national poll record four times throughout the season, peaking at No. 11 in the country in the April 25 CRCA/USRowing Poll. Iowa also broke the team point record at the Big Ten Championships on May 14, scoring 116 points to tie for fourth place. 

[EIGHT // ita awards big ten tennis standouts eight all-america distinctions]
As the Big Ten men’s and women’s tennis seasons came to a close, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced the 2017 ITA All-Americans, with four Big Ten men and four women garnering recognition. Ohio State’s Mikael Torpegaard and Hugo Di Feo earned the honor after earning the No. 1 and No. 7 seeds in the NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championship, respectively. Illinois’ Jared Hiltzik rounds out the singles list after earning All-American recognition after finishing the 2017 campaign ranked No. 7 in the final singles ranking. Ohio State’s doubles pair of Torpegaard and Herkko Pollanen earned All-America honors after finishing the season ranked No. 8 nationally in doubles. On the women’s side, Michigan's Kate Fahey and Brienne Minor garnered singles honors after leading the Wolverines to their 15th-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championship, while Ohio State's Francesca Di Lorenzo earned recognition after leading the Buckeyes to a Big Ten Championship and advancing to the NCAA Women's Tennis Singles Championships. Ohio State's doubles pair of Di Lorenzo and Miho Kowase earned All-America honors after winning the NCAA Women's Tennis Doubles Championships.

[NINE // seventeen standouts recognized on academic all-america at-large tams]
The 2017 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America Division I At-Large Teams were announced this past week, with a combined 17 Big Ten students earning recognition. To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated. Congrats to the Big Ten honorees, which can be found here.

[TEN // a salute to sportsmanship]
Finally this week, the Big Ten announced on Tuesday the 28 honorees named Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2016-17 academic year. These standouts were chosen from a group of more than 350 students 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, and two Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners were then selected from each institution. All of the Sportsmanship Award winners have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, these honorees must be in good academic standing and must have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.