Indiana's David Neville Named 2006 Big Ten Outdoor Athlete of the Year

IU's David Neville it the 2006 Athlete of the Year

IU's David Neville it the 2006 Athlete of the Year

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Indiana junior David Neville and Penn State senior Jennifer Leatherman have been named the men's and women's Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field Athletes of the Year, announced by the conference office today.  The Illini's Dominique Worsley and the Golden Gophers' Heather Dorniden garnered Freshman of the Year accolades, while Wisconsin's Ed Nuttycombe and Minnesota's Gary Wilson collected Coach of the Year laurels.  The individual postseason awards were determined by a vote of the league's track and field head coaches. 

Neville, a Merrillville, Ind., native, captured two individual titles and ran the lead-off leg of a victorious Hoosier relay last weekend in East Lansing en route to earning Athlete of the Championships honors. The junior recorded NCAA regional qualifying times of 21.85 and 45.49 in the 200- and 400-meter dash events, respectively.  He also helped the Indiana 4x400-meter relay squad claim the title after finishing in 3:08.21. Neville, a 2006 first team All-Big Ten honoree, became just the fourth student-athlete to earn Athlete of the Championships laurels twice in his career as he was also honored in 2004.

Leatherman, a native of Timbo, Ark., was a double-winner at the championships, winning the discus and the hammer throw events after meeting distances of 167'08" (51.10 meters) and 197'08" (60.25 meters), respectively.  The senior, who earned her ninth-career Athlete of the Week honor this season (indoor and outdoor combined), also placed second in the shot put with a mark of 51'08.75" (15.76 meters). Leatherman leads all conference student-athletes in track and field as she boasts the most career weekly honors. Perdita Felicien, a former Illini standout, is the closest to Leatherman on the list as she was named Athlete of the Week four times during the 2001 season, once in the indoor campaign and three times during the outdoor competition.

Worsley earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors on the men's side, after highlighting the final day of the championships with second- and third-place finishes for Illinois.  He is the second Illini to earn Freshman of the Year honors in both the indoor and outdoor seasons as Jason Von Swol accomplished the feat in 1999.  A native of Manchester, N.H., Worsley posted times of 10.42 and 21.12 in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, respectively.

Dorniden became the second-consecutive Gopher to claim the Freshman of the Year award on the women's side as teammate Liz Podominick garnered the accolade last season. A native of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., Dorniden entered this year's championships with an 800-meter run NCAA Indoor Championship under her belt and finished second and third in two events that the Big Ten Championships. The freshman turned in a time of 2:02.77 in the 800-meter run to finish as the runner-up, just .04 seconds behind Geena Gall of Michigan who claimed the event title. Dorniden also competed in the 1,500-meter run, clocking in at 4:20.42, good enough for third place.

Shan Cox, a Westbury, N.Y., native, helped add 40 points to Penn State's 115 team total after capturing two individual titles and anchoring two relays to gold-medal performances. The sophomore, who was name Athlete of the Championships on the women's side, began the championships with first-place finishes in both the 200- and 400-meter dashes, clocking in at 23.41 and 52.57, respectively. She went on to run the last leg for her 4x100- and 4x400-meter relay squads that claimed event titles with times of 45.18 and 3.36.95, respectively.

Nuttycombe earned his third-straight Big Ten Coach of the Year award, making it his ninth honor in the last 12 seasons.  The Badger men claimed their 16th overall Big Ten Outdoor Championships title and their sixth in the last seven years.  Wisconsin scored 161.5 points, and also won its third-consecutive Big Ten "Triple Crown" - conference titles in cross country, and indoor and outdoor track and field during the same academic year. The Badgers also notched their third three-peat for the outdoor season. UW won three-straight titles from 1995-1997, 2000-2002 and now 2004-2006.

Wilson was recognized by his peers as women's outdoor Coach of the Year for the first time in his career.  Under his guidance, the Minnesota women have captured their first outdoor conference crown.  At this year's championships, the Gophers had five champions, two second-place finishers and six third-place medalists, to help Minnesota earn 152.50 team point total.

The conference office also announced honorees from each team for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. 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 and women's outdoor track and field are Illinois' Abe Jones and Yvonne Mensah; Indiana's David Neville and Ara Towns; Iowa's Tim Brodersen and Erin O'Hern; Michigan's Rondell Ruff and Katie Erdman; Michigan State's Phil Marlatt and Taren James; Minnesota's Erik Grumstrup and Jessica Stephen; Ohio State's Brian Olinger and Jenna Harris; Penn State's Clarence Smith and Kim Markel; Purdue's Bryce Smith and Jocelyn Lindsay and Wisconsin's Demi Omole and Linsey Blaisdell. These 20 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.

MEN'S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: David Neville, Indiana
MEN'S ATHLETE OF THE CHAMPIONSHIPS: David Neville, Indiana
MEN'S FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Dominique Worsley, Illinois
MEN'S COACH OF THE YEAR: Ed Nuttycombe, Wisconsin

WOMEN'S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Jennifer Leatherman, Penn State
WOMEN'S ATHLETE OF THE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Shana Cox, Penn State
WOMEN'S FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Heather Dorniden, Minnesota
WOMEN'S COACH OF THE YEAR: Gary Wilson, Minnesota

Men's First Team All-Big Ten
Abe Jones, Illinois                          
Doug Dayhoff, Indiana                         
Stephen Haas, Indiana                         
David Neville, Indiana                         
Ryan Smith, Indiana                         
Trey Warfield, Indiana                         
Tim Brodersen, Iowa                             
Adam Hamilton, Iowa                             
Jeff Porter, Michigan                      
Brad Gebauer, Michigan State             
Karl Erickson, Minnesota                    
Derek Gearman, Minnesota                    
Kevin Netzer, Minnesota                    
Brian Olinger, Ohio State                    
Mark Miller, Penn State                   
Allen Pettner, Penn State                   
David Rae, Purdue                         
Rick Bellford, Wisconsin                    
Nathan Brown, Wisconsin                    
Dan Goesch, Wisconsin                    
Paul Hubbard, Wisconsin                    
Chad Melotte, Wisconsin                    
Alonzo Moore, Wisconsin
Demi Omole, Wisconsin
Chris Solinsky, Wisconsin

Women's First Team All-Big Ten
Yvonne Mensah, Illinois
Camile Robinson, Illinois
Ara Towns, Indiana
Nicole Edwards, Michigan
Greena Gall, Michigan
Tiffany Ofili, Michigan
Rebecca Walter, Michigan
Taren James, Michigan State
Emily Brown, Minnesota
Laura Massey, Minnesota
Liz Podominick, Minnesota
Ruby Radocaj, Minnesota
Roehrig, Minnesota
Jessie Stringer, Ohio State
Dominque Blake, Penn State
Shana Cox, Penn State
Jennifer Leatherman, Penn State
Kim Markel, Penn State
Kamilah Salaam, Penn State
Sara Shoaff, Penn State
Briene Simmons, Penn State
Monique Walker, Penn State

Men's Second Team                                       
Andre English, Illinois                          
Dominique Worsley, Illinois                          
Kyle Jenkins, Indiana                         
Will Fleming, Indiana                         
Shane Maier, Iowa                             
Mike Woods, Michigan                      
Mark Langlois, Michigan State                              
Aaron Buzard, Minnesota                    
Jason Erickson, Minnesota                    
Ibrahim Kabia, Minnesota
Walter Langkau, Minnesota
Andy Newman, Minnesota                    
Robb Merritt, Minnesota                    
Trent Riter, Minnesota                    
Matt Comer, Ohio State                    
Nolan Petties, Purdue                         
Simon Bairu, Wisconsin                    
Joe Detmer, Wisconsin                    
Stuart Eagon, Wisconsin                    
                                                                       
Women's Second Team
Tiara Armstrong, Illinois
Ashley Hanshaw, Illinois
Cassie Hunt, Illinois
Kristina Jones, Illinois
Carlene Robinson, Illinois
Omoye Ugiagbe, Illinois
LaNeisha Waller, Illinois
Meghan Armstrong, Iowa
Tiffany Johnson, Iowa
Peaches Roach, Iowa
Ana Gjesdal, Michigan
Bettie Wade, Michigan
Erin Webster, Michigan
Heather Dorniden, Minnesota
Jenna Harris, Ohio State
Ayrizanna Favours, Ohio State
Keturah Lofton, Ohio State
Kara Patterson, Purdue