March 4, 2014
Rosemont, Ill. -
The Big Ten Conference office announced the 2014 Big Ten men's indoor track & field individual award winners on Tuesday. Wisconsin's Reed Connor was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year, while fellow Badger Michael Lihrman was tabbed Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year and Field Athlete of the Championships. Purdue's Raheem Mostert collected Track Athlete of the Championships laurels, while Ohio State's Donovan Robertson was named Freshman of the Year and Wisconsin head coach Mick Bryne was tabbed Coach of the Year.
Connor was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year after posting the NCAA's fastest time in the 5,000-meter run this season, clocking in at 13:37.42. He also leads the Big Ten in the 3,000-meter run (7:51.78). The senior becomes the first Badger to collect the honor since Brandon Bethke in 2008.
Lihrman made history this season en route to Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year and Field Athlete of the Championships honors. The junior broke the NCAA Division I record in the weight throw with a mark of 24.27 meters, which is currently the best throw in the world with no other student-athlete having surpassed 24 meters. Lihrman took home the weight throw title (23.78 meters) at the championships, breaking the 10-year old meet record in the process. He is the second Badger in the last three years to earn both honors, joining teammate Japheth Cato, who won both awards in 2012.
At the Big Ten Championships Mostert ran to two individual titles en route to his honor. He recorded first-place efforts in both the 60- and 200-meter dashes. The junior's times in those events rank first in the Big Ten this season and his mark in the 200-meter dash is eighth nationally. Mostert is the third Boilermaker to collect Athlete of the Championships honors.
Robertson claimed Freshman of the year accolades after a successful first season at Ohio State. At the Big Ten Championships, he posted a second-place finish in school-record time in the 60-meter hurdles (7.65). His time in that event is currently tied for second in the conference and tied for fourth nationally this season. Robertson is the third Buckeye to earn the award and first since Anthony Cole in 2005.
Byrne earned Coach of the Year honors after leading Wisconsin to its second-straight conference title and 25th overall. Byrne's award marks the 12th time a Badger head coach has earned the honor, joining 11-time recipient Ed Nuttycombe.
The Big Ten Conference office recognizes student-athletes from each team as Sportsmanship Award Honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. Honorees for men's indoor track and field are Illinois' Joe McAsey, Indiana's Jordan Gornall, Iowa's Tevin-Cee Mincy, Michigan's Erick Gavin, Michigan State's Antonio James, Minnesota's Mark Jennings, Nebraska's Trevor Vidlak, Ohio State's Timothy Faust, Penn State's Bernard Bennett-Green, Purdue's Raheem Mostert and Wisconsin's Babatunde Awosika. These student-athletes are now candidates for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, as the conference office will honor one male and one female student-athlete from each institution at the end of the school year.
Track Athlete of the Year
Reed Connor, Wisconsin
Field Athlete of the Year
Michael Lihrman, Wisconsin
Freshman of the Year
Donovan Robertson, Ohio State
Track Athlete of the Championships
Raheem Mostert, Purdue
Field Athlete of the Championships
Michael Lihrman, Wisconsin
Coach of the Year
Mick Byrne, Wisconsin