Rosemont, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference celebrated its 102nd class of the esteemed Big Ten Medal of Honor on Tuesday. Twenty-eight students from 16 different sports were honored with the prestigious award, which was established in 1915 and was the first award in intercollegiate athletics to demonstrate support for the educational emphasis placed on athletics. The Big Ten Medal of Honor is awarded to one male and one female student from the graduating class of each member institution who has demonstrated excellence on and off the field throughout their college career.
Big Ten schools currently feature more than 9,500 students competing in intercollegiate athletics, but only 28 earn this prestigious award on an annual basis. In more than 100 years of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, almost 1,400 students have earned this distinction.
“The Big Ten Medal of Honor is an award that recognizes high achievement in both academic and athletic pursuits, and embodies the conference’s longstanding commitment to providing a broad-based experience,” Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany said. “We are thrilled to congratulate the 28 recipients of this year’s award, as they join a list of prominent individuals who have earned this distinction over the past 102 years.”
This year’s list of distinguished students claimed numerous national and conference academic and athletic honors, along with winning NCAA and Big Ten team and individual championships. Every recipient claimed Academic All-Big Ten or All-Big Ten accolades at least once in their career, while pursuing diverse fields of study with a list of majors that include mathematics, psychology, neurobiology and environmental sciences, aerospace, electrical, mechanical and civil engineering, air transportation, kinesiology and many others.
The 2016 Big Ten Medal of Honor class of recipients boasts eight Academic All-Americans: Illinois’ Allie Bauch, Iowa’s Mike Gesell, Michigan’s Mason Ferlic, Minnesota’s Hannah Brandt, Nebraska’s Mattie Fowler and Shavon Shields, Ohio State’s Jacoby Foren and Penn State’s Nico Megaludis.
Indiana’s Nicole Volgraf, Maryland’s Rachelle Beanlands and Michael McCarney, Michigan’s Shannon Scavelli and Purdue’s Matthew McClintock were named Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honorees in their respective sports during the academic year. Iowa’s Katie Brown and Michigan’s Ferlic and Scavelli were recipients of Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarships, given to one male and one female student participating in intercollegiate athletics from each of the Big Ten institutions who plan to continue their education at a graduate degree program.
Athletically, 11 students were Big Ten individual and/or team champions and three were members of a national championship team. Brandt led the Gophers to their seventh women’s hockey national title, Penn State’s Britt Eckerstrom helped guide the Nittany Lions to the first women’s soccer national championship in school and Big Ten history, and Megaludis claimed the 125-pound wrestling national title in leading Penn State to its sixth team national championship.
Big Ten Medal of Honor winners to earn conference regular season or tournament team titles were Illinois’ Charlie Danielson in men’s golf, Indiana’s Nick Zeisloft in men’s basketball, Maryland’s Michael McCarney in men’s lacrosse, Michigan State’s Jack Allen in football, Ohio State’s Catherine Shields in rowing and Penn State’s Eckerstrom and Megaludis in women’s soccer and wrestling, respectively.
Ferlic claimed individual Big Ten titles in the 5,000-meter run at both the Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships and won the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the outdoor championships. Rutgers’ Corey Crawford won the long jump at both the Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Wisconsin’s Kelsey Card earned the individual Big Ten titles in the shot put at both the indoor and outdoor events, won the discus throw at the indoor championships and claimed the individual Big Ten title in the weight throw at the outdoor meet. Purdue’s Matthew McClintock claimed the individual conference championship at the Big Ten Cross Country Championships.
To learn more about the Big Ten Medal of Honor, including this year’s honorees, visit bigten.org.
Big Ten Medal of Honor Class of 2016:
Charlie Danielson, Men’s Golf
Allie Bauch, Softball
Nick Zeisloft, Men’s Basketball
Nicole Volgraf, Field Hockey
Mike Gesell, Men’s Basketball
Katie Brown, Rowing
Michael McCarney, Men’s Lacrosse
Rachelle Beanlands, Women’s Soccer
Shannon Scavelli, Field Hockey
Mason Ferlic, Men’s Track & Field
Jack Allen, Football
Lisa Burt, Women’s Gymnastics
Aaron Bartnik, Men’s Cross Country and Track & Field
Hannah Brandt, Women’s Hockey
Shavon Shields, Men’s Basketball
Mattie Fowler, Softball
Lisa McCarthy, Field Hockey
Joey Calistri, Men’s Soccer
Jacoby Boren, Football
Catherine Shields, Rowing
Britt Eckerstrom, Women’s Soccer
Nico Megaludis, Wrestling
Matthew McClintock, Men’s Cross Country and Track & Field
Katie Hoevet, Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field
Corey Crawford, Men’s Track & Field
Brianne Reed, Women’s Soccer
Joel Stave, Football
Kelsey Card, Women’s Track & Field