June 24, 2011
Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field saw the 2011 season come to a close with 31 student-athletes earning first-team All-America honors at the NCAA Championships. The conference boasted 16 men's student-athletes in the top eight of their respective events, while 15 women's student-athletes picked up top-eight finishes. The Big Ten saw student-athletes earn All-America status in 10 men's events and eight women's events.
Illinois led the way in the men's team standings, tying for 12th place with 18 points. Indiana and Penn State each totaled 11 points to tie for 20th place. Indiana paced the conference women's teams competing in the championships, tying for 23rd with 13 points.
Prior to the national meet, all 10 conference teams met at Iowa's Francis X. Cretzmeyer Track for the Big Ten Championships. Iowa defended its home track, winning the men's team title for the third time in program history and first time since 1967. The Hawkeyes totaled 125.5 team points, while Minnesota followed closely with 123 points to take second place. Ohio State earned third place with 109 points.
Following the championships, the conference announced its individual award winners and All-Big Ten teams. Iowa's Justin Austin and Larry Wieczorek were rewarded for leading their team to the conference title as Austin earned Athlete of the Year honors and Wieczorek received Coach of the Year laurels. Ohio State's Mike Hartfield was tabbed Field Athlete of the Year, while Wisconsin's Reed Connor was selected as the Freshman of the Year. Austin and Hartfield were also picked as the Track and Field Athletes of the Championships, respectively.
The Buckeyes earned the conference crown at the women's championships, amassing 135 points to pick up their first Big Ten title. Penn State finished second with 122 points, followed by Indiana in third with 96.
Ohio State's Christina Manning and Karen Dennis followed up their Big Ten titles with individual conference honors, as Manning was named Athlete of the Year and Dennis picked up Coach of the Year honors. Michigan State's Beth Rohl received Field Athlete of the Year recognition, while Wisconsin's Emily Sisson was tabbed the Freshman of the Year. Manning and Rohl also earned Track and Field Athletes of the Championships accolades.