Northwestern's Smith and Purdue's Boudia Named Big Ten Athletes of the Year
June 20, 2011
Park Ridge, Ill. - Northwestern lacrosse player Shannon Smith and Purdue diver David Boudia were named the Suzy Favor Female and Jesse Owens Male Big Ten Athletes of the Year, respectively, the conference office announced on Monday. The Big Ten Athletes of the Year are selected by a panel of conference media members from nominations submitted by each institution.
Smith is the second Northwestern lacrosse player in the last four years to collect the Suzy Favor Female Athlete of the Year Award and the fourth Wildcat overall to take home the honor. A junior from West Babylon, N.Y., Smith won both major national lacrosse awards, winning the Tewaaraton Award and the Lacrosse Honda Sports Award. She was named NCAA Championship MVP after scoring the game-winning goals in the semifinal and championship contests, leading the Wildcats to their sixth national title in seven years. Smith led all of Division I with 128 points, which marked the second-best total in Northwestern annals and the seventh-highest in Division I women's lacrosse history. She earned MVP honors at the American Lacrosse Conference Championship and earned a spot on the IWLCA All-America first team for the second time in her career. The Academic All-Big Ten selection will enter her senior season tied for fifth in career assists at Northwestern (80), sixth in points (268) and seventh in goals (188).
A three-time NCAA Diver of the Year, Boudia is the first diver to be named Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year and the second Boilermaker to earn the accolade, following basketball player Glenn Robinson in 1994. A junior from Noblesville, Ind., Boudia has won six NCAA titles in his career, including championships in the 1-meter and 3-meter in 2011. He won all three diving events at this year's Big Ten Championships, becoming the first diver in conference history to accomplish the feat twice in a career, having also swept in 2009. Boudia has racked up eight conference titles in his career and was named this year's Big Ten Diver of the Year and of the Championships. He qualified for the USA Diving World Championships in 2011 in the platform and synchro platform and was a USA Diving National Champion in the same events. An Olympian in 2008, Boudia is forgoing his senior year to train for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
The Big Ten Conference has recognized a Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year since 1982 when Indiana's Jim Spivey earned the inaugural award. The following year, a women's award was created. In 1991-92, as part of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of women's athletics in the conference, the women's award was renamed in honor of former Wisconsin track standout and three-time recipient Suzy Favor.
The complete list of 2011 Jesse Owens and Suzy Favor Athlete of the Year nominations, as well as the list of all-time winners for each award, can be found on the following page.