This Week in the Big Ten

July 1, 2018

[ONE // indiana’s king still the big ten’s queen]
Indiana women's swimmer Lilly King repeated as the Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year, the conference announced on Thursday. King became the first female in Indiana's history to claim Big Athlete of the Year honors in 2017. In 2018, the junior was honored as the Big Ten Swimmer of the Year for the third-consecutive year. King also won the NCAA Championship in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke for the third year in row, collecting a total of four All-America accolades in 2018. King captured the Big Ten Championship in the 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard medley relay. The two-time 2016 Olympic gold medalist is a 12-time All-America honoree, six-time NCAA Champion and 12-time Big Ten Champion in her career with the Hoosiers. King has been an Academic All-Big Ten selection in each of the last two years.

[TWO // big ten honors ohio state’s snyder with jesse owens award]
In similar fashion to Indiana’s Lilly King, Ohio State wrestler Kyle Snyder earned his second straight Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year award, the conference announced on Thursday. Snyder is the first student in Big Ten history to repeat as Male Athlete of the Year. His 2018 honor marks the sixth time a Buckeye has won the award. The senior captured his third-consecutive NCAA Championship, winning the 285-pound title in 2018. Snyder is a four-time All-American and has captured the last three Big Ten Championships in the 285-pound weight class. Snyder was named Ohio State's male recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor earlier this year. The 2016 Olympic gold medalist was named the USA Olympic Male Athlete of the Year in 2017-18 as well as the AAU Sullivan Award winner. He is a two-time member of the Senior World Team. Snyder was a Second-Team CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2017 and has been named Academic All-Big Ten in each of the last four years. 

[THREE // howard and taylor to attend kickoff luncheon]
The Big Ten announced Friday that College Football Hall of Fame inductees Dana Howard of Illinois and Aaron Taylor of Nebraska will be in attendance at the 2018 Big Ten Football Kickoff Luncheon. The former standouts will be available for autographs and take part in a group interview at the 47th annual event, which will be held on Tuesday, July 24, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. Howard, an Illinois linebacker from 1991-1994, became the 11th Fighting Illini to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2018. During his collegiate career, he became the first student in school history to earn a major national award when he received the Butkus Award as the best linebacker in the nation in 1994. A two-time First-Team All-American, Howard earned unanimous honors as a senior in 1994. The two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year remains Illinois’ all-time leading tackler with 595 career stops, which was a Big Ten record at the end of his Fighting Illini tenure. A four-time All-Big Ten honoree, Howard earned first-team recognition in his last three seasons after making the second team as a freshman. Taylor, a center/offensive guard for the Cornhuskers from 1994-1997, became the 18th student from Nebraska to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2018. The only Nebraska standout in history to earn All-America honors at two different positions, Taylor led the Huskers to three undefeated, national championship seasons.

[FOUR // maryland elevates evans to athletics director]
Congratulations to Damon Evans, who was elevated to director of athletics at Maryland this past week, having spent the past season overseeing the department in the interim role. Evans joined the Terrapins in December of 2014 and most recently served as Executive Athletic Director and Chief Financial Officer. He had overseen all day-to-day operations for the athletic department since October of 2017 prior to his appointment as Director of Athletics. 

[FIVE // several swimmers recognized for academic excellence]
The College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) selected a record 1,069 swimmers and divers, including 201 students from Big Ten schools, for its Scholar All-America team this past week. The award recognizes students that have achieved a grade point average of 3.50 or higher and competed at their respective NCAA/NAIA/NJCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. For a complete breakdown by gender and school, click here

[SIX // headlines from the links]
Several Big Ten standouts made news on the golf course this past week as Illinois, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, and Purdue all reported on summer success of their students. Rising Illinois junior Tristyn Nowlin was honored as runner-up at the 118th Women's Western (WWGA) National Amateur Championship at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville, Ill. The Minnesota Golf Association hosted the annual Women’s Match Play Championship at Faribault Golf Club this past week, and three of the final eight golfers in the championship flight were current Golden Gophers, including redshirt sophomore Christine Portillo, who fell to eventual runner-up Olivia Herrick in extra holes on Tuesday. Northwestern rising senior Stephanie Lau nearly captured the 2018 Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship Sunday, falling to Leonie Harm, who became the first German to win the championship in its 155-year history. In the semifinals, Harm defeated Canada's Jaclyn Lee, the 2018 Big Ten Individual Champion from Ohio State. Purdue rising sophomore Cole Bradley rallied during the back nine of the final round to win the 118th Indiana Amateur in stunning fashion at Otter Creek Golf Club. Bradley recorded a 72-hole total of 13-under par 275 (68-70-68-69) to defeat Sean Rowan of Greenwood, Indiana, by three shots (-10; 68-69-70-71). 

[SEVEN // former illini great set to compete in wimbledon main draw]
Former Illinois All-American and US Open finalist, Kevin Anderson, is set to compete in the opening day of Wimbledon on Monday, July 2. Anderson is making his third Grand Slam appearance showing of the year after earning an automatic bid based on current world rankings. The South African native is seeking his first win at a Grand Slam, and will square off against Slovakia qualifier, Norbert Gombos. The Slovakian native finished in the round of 128 during his Wimbledon debut in 2017. Anderson is the eighth seed in the singles draw and is currently ranked No. 8 in the world after a successful season that is highlighted by a win at the New York Open.

[EIGHT // international interests]
University of Iowa All-American Jahisha Thomas jumped a personal-best 21 feet, 11.5 inches to place fourth in the long jump Sunday at the 2018 Muller British Athletics Championships. Thomas, a six-time All-American and four-time Big Ten champion, completed her Hawkeye career with school records in the indoor and outdoor triple jump, and indoor long jump. She ranks second all-time in the outdoor long jump. Her final outdoor performance in the long jump was three and one-half inches short of tying the school record held by Aisha James (22-3, 6.78 meters) since 2003. In other international news, the U.S. Women's Volleyball National Team, with three former Nebraska standouts on the roster, captured the gold medal at the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Nations League Sunday in Nanjing, China. Team USA defeated Turkey in five sets in the championship match, 17-25, 25-22, 26-28, 25-15, 15-7.

[NINE // “voice of the hoosiers” receives inaugural media award]
Don Fischer, who has been the radio voice for Indiana University athletics for more than 45 years, was presented this past week with the inaugural Woody Durham College Voice Award by the National Sports Media Association, the University of North Carolina and Learfield Sports. The presentation was made June 25 in Winston-Salem, N.C., at the annual NSMA Banquet. The award is named after longtime UNC play-by-play voice Woody Durham, who spent more than 40 years calling Tar Heel contests and is considered an ACC icon. During his 45 years with IU, Fischer has been named Indiana Sportscaster of the Year 29 times by two different organizations. The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association has awarded him 25 times, while the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association has named him its honoree four times.    

[TEN // a terp tragically taken too soon]
Finally this week, while we take time to honor one decorated media member in the Big Ten, we pause to mourn the passing of another. University of Maryland journalism school graduate John McNamara (’83), who covered Maryland Athletics for decades as a reporter for multiple local publications, was one of five employees of the Capital Gazette tragically killed Thursday afternoon in Annapolis. According to the Terps’ website, McNamara honed his craft as a journalist as a member of the University of Maryland’s student-run newspaper, The Diamondback. In addition to working locally at other reporting organizations, he most recently spent more than 20 years with the Capital Gazette as a sports reporter. John was a staple of press row at Maryland basketball and football games.