June 25, 2012
[ONE // the best of the best]
Michigan State basketball player Draymond Green and Ohio State track athlete Christina Manning were named the Jesse Owens Male and Suzy Favor Female Athletes of the Year, respectively, the conference office announced this past Monday. The Big Ten Athletes of the Year were selected by a panel of conference media members from nominations submitted by each institution. Green is the second Michigan State standout to win the Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year honor and first since 2001, when hockey standout Ryan Miller won the award. The senior from Saginaw, Mich., completed a record-setting career for the Spartans after being named NABC Division I National Player Year and a consensus All-American in 2011-12. After winning two national championships this past season, Manning completed her Ohio State track career as one of the program’s most decorated athletes. The Waldorf, Md., native leaves the Buckeye program as an 11-time All-American and 10-time Big Ten Champion, while also owning school records in four individual events (60- and 200-meter dash and 60- and 100-meter hurdles) and two relays (4x100-meter and sprint medley).
[TWO // ten on forty on nine]
More than 4,500 female student-athletes compete annually at Big Ten schools. Over 550 women's athletic events were nationally produced and distributed last year. Big Ten women student-athletes have celebrated more than 50 NCAA team championships. These opportunities and achievements may not have been possible without a landmark initiative 40 years ago - the passing of the Title IX amendment into law. This past Saturday marked the 40th anniversary of the passing of Title IX. The Big Ten would like to recognize all of its female student-athletes and highlight just some the conference's initiatives that have made it a leader in gender equity.
[THREE // putting our heads together]
The Big Ten Conference and the Ivy League, in conjunction with the Big Ten Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), announced plans this past week to engage in a co-sponsored, cross-institutional research collaboration to study the effects of head injuries in sports, continuing efforts dating back more than two years. This historic collaboration brings together two prestigious academic and athletic entities, and allows for the coordination of ongoing efforts by each conference to research and address various aspects of head injuries in athletics, including concussions. The world-class academic and research capabilities of the institutions will help to promote a collaborative and collegial atmosphere to address a burgeoning issue impacting the welfare of athletes at all levels of sport.
[FOUR // a perfect ten]
Ten Big Ten student-athletes have been named to the Capital One Academic All-America Track & Field/Cross Country Team, as announced last Thursday. To be eligible for All-America recognition, student-athletes must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a 3.30 GPA, and have reached sophomore academic and athletic standings at his or her institution. The complete list of Big Ten recipients includes Indiana’s Andy Bayer and Chelsea Blanchard, Iowa’s Erik Sowinski, Michigan’s Rebecca Addison, Michigan State’s Rebecca Buchholtz, Nebraska’s Bjorn Barrefors, Nebraska’s Brett Grieb and Nate Polacek, and Wisconsin’s Elliot Krause.
[FIVE // they’ve got the bower?]
Three Big Ten track and field standouts have been named semifinalists for The Bowerman, presented annually to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation. Illinois' Ashley Spencer and Ohio State's Christina Manning were honored on the women’s side, while Illini speedster Andrew Riley was tabbed on the men’s side. Spencer becomes the first woman in The Bowerman history to be named a semifinalist in her freshman year. Manning, the Suzy Favor Female Athlete of the Year, earned NCAA titles in the 60 hurdles indoors and 100 hurdles outdoors events. Riley, who was recently named National Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year, became the first male in Division I history to win the 100 meters and 110 hurdles at the same outdoor NCAA meet at this year's championships.
[SIX // lovin’ london]
At least four Big Ten representatives punched their ticket to the London Olympic Games this past week as both the swimming and track and field Olympic Trials were contested. Former Indiana All-American and 2009 NCAA Champion Christina Loukas can now call herself a two-time Olympian after earning a spot on the 2012 squad at the USA Diving Olympic Trials in Federal Way, Wash. Loukas finished second in the 3-meter springboard finals with a score of 1017.85 points. Former Ohio State diver Katie Bell secured a spot on the 11-member squad with a second-place finish in the finals of the women’s 10-meter platform on Sunday with a total of 1024.40 points. Former Purdue diver David Boudia repeated as the men's 10-meter platform winner at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Saturday, locking up another berth at the Olympic Games in London later this summer. He scored 558.65 on his list in the finals to win the event by 59.85 over second-place finisher Nick McCrory, who also earned an Olympic bid. Thursday, Boudia and McCrory won the synchronized 10-meter platform competition together to earn one of the eight bids in the event at the Olympics. On the track, 2005 Wisconsin graduate Matt Tegenkamp ran to an impressive runner-up finish in the 10,000 meters at the 2012 USA Olympic Trials, clocking a time of 27 minutes, 33.94 seconds. The top-three finish earned him a second-straight appearance in the Olympics. Also of note, while Michigan State redshirt junior Beth Rohl did not qualify for the Olympics, she did manage to throw a Big Ten-record 57.82 meters in the discus to finish seventh overall. The previous Big Ten record of 57.76 meters was set by Gia Lewis of Illinois in 2001.
[SEVEN // fore standouts earn ping all-america accloades]
Four Big Ten men’s golfers were honored Wednesday as PING All-Americans, it was announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Illinois’ Thomas Pieters, the 2012 NCAA Champion, earned first-team honors with his win, while teammate Luke Guthrie was tabbed a second-team selection following his impressive resume this past year. Iowa’s Joseph Winslow and Northwestern’s Eric Chun were both named honorable mention picks by the GCAA.
[EIGHT // btn to preview nba draft]
BTN aired a special NBA Draft Preview show this past Friday that took a look at the Big Ten representation in the upcoming draft on Thursday. Hosted by Dave Revsine and Jim Jackson, the special included interviews with some of the Big Ten's top draft entrants and gave viewers an inside look at the draft process. Click HERE for more information about the show and to watch interviews with players at the NBA Draft Combine.
[NINE // buckeyes’ beathea right on track]
Congratulation to Ed Beathea on being named this past Thursday as the head coach of the Ohio State men's track and field team. Beathea, who served as associate head coach since 2006 and interim head coach since April, becomes the eighth head coach in program history and will receive a five-year contract to lead the Buckeyes. Serving as interim head coach during the spring, Beathea led the Buckeyes to a fourth-place finish at the Big Ten outdoor championships with 86 team points. A total of 21 athletes qualified for the NCAA East Regional Preliminaries with 10 advancing to the NCAA championships. Three Buckeyes - senior Matt DeChant (shot put), junior Cory Leslie (3000-meter steeplechase) and true freshman Antonio Blanks (400-meter hurdles) - were first team All-Americans.
[TEN // teague tenure begins in minneapolis]
This past Monday marked the start of a new era at the University of Minnesota as new athletic director Norwood Teague began his first day on the job as the Golden Gophers’ leading man. He sat down with Gophers football and basketball play-by-play announcer Mike Grimm just minutes after settling into his new office to discuss priorities for his first 100 days, the state of the men’s basketball program, and all that he's learned about Minnesota even before starting his new job.
[ELEVEN // a powerful purdue president]
While Ohio State made a coaching move and Minnesota saw an administrator begin his job this past week, another member school made a powerful move in acquiring one of the nation’s most sought after leaders. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, who was once deemed a favorite to win the Republican nomination for President, has captured another President’s race as he was named on Thursday as the next leader of Purdue University. Daniels will start in January at the conclusion of his second term as governor. He will be Purdue's 12th president, succeeding France A. Córdova, who will step down July 15. Daniels, Indiana's 49th governor, was elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2008 with the largest number of votes ever recorded by any candidate for public office in state history.
[TWELVE // great lake, great effort, great cause]
Finally this week, a touching story from BTN.com, where former Michigan State rower Jenn Gibbons is busy navigating the coastline of Lake Michigan in an effort to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Gibbons is rowing nearing 30 miles a day around the perimeter of Lake Michigan and is almost halfway to her goal of raising $150,000 on this trip. For more information on Gibbons’ efforts, please click here.