Dec. 5, 2007
Park Ridge, Ill.--As the fall term of the 2007-08 school year comes to a close, the Big Ten recognizes a total of 662 fall sports athletes who have been named to the Academic All-Conference Team. The list of honored student-athletes features 61 men's and 109 women's cross country runners, 61 field hockey players, 175 football players, 64 men's and 119 women's soccer athletes and 73 volleyball players. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a career grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better.
At least 15 Big Ten student-athletes have maintained unblemished GPAs. A quintet of women's cross country runners boast a 4.0 GPA in Illinois' Stephanie Baliga (So., Economics), the Iowa duo of Jocelyn Burke (So., Psychology, Sociology) and Katie Ellis (So., English, Cinema), Michigan State's Alissa McKaig (Jr., Kinesiology) and Minnesota's Elizabeth Yetzer (So., Undecided). In football five student-athletes also have maintained a perfect academic record including, Indiana's Kevin Trulock (Sr., Biology), Iowa's tandem of Anton Narinskiy (Jr., Accounting) and Adam Shada (Sr., Finance), Minnesota's John Shevlin (Gr., Applied Kinesiology) and Purdue's Kyle Adams (So., Management). In women's soccer, Michigan State's Megan Brown (So., Human Biology), Minnesota's Hailey McCarthy (Sr., International Business) and Purdue's Kate Mills (Sr., Movement and Sports Science) have all earned a perfect GPA. Indiana's Brittney Hacken (So., Biology) has maintained a 4.0 as a member of the Hoosier field hockey team, and Minnesota men's cross country member Mike Torchia (So., Biology) rounds out the list of perfect GPAs.
The Big Ten Academic All-Conference award winners also achieved excellence outside of the classroom. In women's cross country, Illinois' Angela Bizzarri (So., Bio-Engineering), Iowa's Meghan Armstrong (Sr., Integrative Physiology). Michigan's Nicole Edwards (Sr., Civil Engineering), and Penn State's Bridget Franek (So., Agriculture) earned All-Big Ten first-team honors. Ohio State's Jeffery See was named All-Big Ten first-team in men's soccer. In field hockey, Michigan's Lucia Belassi (Sr., Linguistics) earned Co-Offensive Player of the Year accolades, while Penn State's Jen Long (Jr., Health, Policy and Administration) garnered Defensive Player of the Year laurels. Ohio State's Casey Latchem (Sr., Communications) was tabbed men's soccer Defensive Player of the Championships after leading the Buckeyes to the conference title. In women's soccer, Purdue's Parrissa Eyorokon (Sr., Sociology) earned Offensive Player of the Year honors, Penn State's Alyssa Naeher (So., Undecided) collected Defensive Player of the Year accolades, while Purdue's Shauna Stapleton (Sr., Entomology) was named Offensive Player of the Tournament. In volleyball, Michigan's Stesha Selsky (Sr., Sociology) was chosen as Defensive Player of the Year and Penn State's Christa Harmotto (Jr., Elementary and Kindergarten Education) was named the Player of the Year. Harmotto and Ohio State's Danielle Meyer (Sr., Textiles and Clothing) were also named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans. On the football field, the Big Ten tallied eight Academic All-Big Ten performers on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America squad. Illinois' Ryan McDonald (Sr., Aerospace Engineering), Indiana's Austin Starr (Sr., Biology), Iowa's Mike Klinkenborg (Sr., Elementary Education) and Shada, Ohio State's Brian Robiskie (Jr., Business) and Penn State's Gerald Cadogan (Sr., Rehabilitation Services) are all first-team honorees. Illinois' J Leman (Gr., Human Resources Education) and Purdue's Jared Armstrong (Sr., Organizational Leadership and Supervision) earned second-team laurels.