Dec. 2, 2010
Park Ridge, Ill.—As the fall term of the 2010-11 school year comes to a close, the Big Ten recognizes a total of 706 fall sports athletes who have been recognized with Academic All-Conference honors. The list of honored student-athletes features 72 men’s and 110 women’s cross country runners, 60 field hockey players, 190 football players, 51 men’s and 152 women’s soccer athletes and 71 volleyball players. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.
At least four Big Ten student-athletes have maintained unblemished GPAs in their careers. A trio of women’s cross country runners boast 4.0 GPAs in Minnesota’s Kathryn Ritter (So., Biology, Society and Environment) and Purdue’s Kara Conflenti (Jr., Nursing) and Alice Feslier Holmes (Jr., Political Science). Also with a perfect academic record is Michigan State field hockey student-athlete Elizabeth Helffrich (So., Chemistry).
Big Ten Academic All-Conference award winners also achieved excellence outside of the classroom.
In football, Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan (Sr., Education) was named the Big Ten’s Defensive Player and Defensive Lineman of the Year, while Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi (Gr., Civil Engineering) earned Offensive Lineman of the Year honors. In cross country, Wisconsin’s Landon Peacock (Sr., Undeclared) was the men’s Big Ten Athlete of the Year, while Michigan State’s Emily MacLeod (Sr., Environmental Biology/Zoology), received the same honor on the women’s side. On the pitch, Ohio State’s Cassie Dickerson (Sr., Animal Sciences) was the Big Ten women’s soccer Defensive Player of the Year. Minnesota’s Jessica Granquist (Jr., Marketing) was named Big Ten volleyball’s Defensive Player of the Year.
A number of Academic All-Big Ten selections have already been honored as Academic All-Americans during the fall season. On the football field, the Big Ten tied for the lead among all conferences with five players on the ESPN Academic All-America first and second teams with honors going to Academic All-Big Ten honorees Chris Colasanti (Sr., Kinesiology), Pete Massaro (Jr., Finance) and Stefen Wisniewski (Sr., Secondary Education) of Penn State and Kyle Adams (Sr., Management) and Joe Holland (Jr.,Movement and Sports Science) of Purdue. Illinois’ Johannah Bangert (Sr., Mathematics) also earned Academic All-America honors in volleyball.
In addition to Academic All-Conference recognition, the conference office also presents the Distinguished Scholar Award at the end of the academic year. Student-athletes eligible for the Distinguished Scholar Award must be letterwinners in at least their second year in residence at their institution. Qualifying student-athletes must have earned a GPA of 3.7 or higher for the current academic year, excluding summer school. The Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award was established by conference Faculty Representatives as an addition to the conference’s Academic All-Big Ten program. In the first two years of the program, nearly 1,000 student-athletes have been recognized as Big Ten Distinguished Scholars.
The complete list of Academic All-Big Ten honorees can be found by clicking the link at the top of the story.