ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference celebrated its 103rd class of the esteemed Big Ten Medal of Honor on Thursday. 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, more than 1,400 students have earned this distinction.
This year’s honorees 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 biochemistry, economics, entrepreneurial management, accounting, labor studies and employment relations, kinesiology and many others.
The 2017 Big Ten Medal of Honor class of recipients boasts 13 Academic All-Americans: Illinois’ Nicole Evans, Iowa’s Ally Disterhoft, Maryland’s Cody Niedermeier and Zoe Stukenberg, Michigan’s Nicole Artz, Minnesota’s Lee Stecklein and Luca Wieland, Nebraska’s Drew Wiseman, Northwestern’s Austin Carr and Nandi Mehta, Ohio State’s Christy Blough, Purdue’s August Kim and Wisconsin’s Lauren Carlini.
Illinois’ Joe Spencer, Indiana’s Derek Creviston, Michigan’s Jake Butt and Nebraska’s Tierra Williams were named Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honorees in their respective sports during the academic year. Iowa’s Alex Meyer was a recipient of Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship.
Athletically, 13 students were Big Ten individual and/or team champions and three were members of a national championship team. Stukenberg helped guide Maryland to a pair of national titles and three Big Ten Championships, while Michigan State’s Alexis Wiersma was member of the 2014 NCAA Championship women’s cross country team. Minnesota’s Stecklein led the women’s hockey team to three national titles, while fellow Gopher Wieland captured a NCAA indoor heptathlon title.
Ohio State’s Emma Baranski finished her career as a back-to-back solo synchronized swimming national champion and led the Buckeyes to a pair of team national titles. Blough guided the Buckeyes to their second consecutive men’s volleyball national championship in 2017.
Big Ten Medal of Honor winners to earn conference regular season or tournament team titles were Maryland’s Cody Niedermeier in men’s soccer, Michigan’s Nicole Artz in women’s gymnastics, Michigan State’s Josiah Price in football, Nebraska’s Tierra Williams in women’s track and field, Northwestern’s Nandi Mehta in women’s soccer, Penn State’s David Goodwin in men’s hockey and Abby Smucker in women’s lacrosse, and Purdue’s August Kim in women’s golf.
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 2017:
Nicole Evans, Softball
Joe Spencer, Football
Derek Creviston, Men’s Soccer
CaraMia Tsirigos, Softball
Ally Disterhoft, Women’s Basketball
Alex Meyer, Wrestling
Cody Niedermeier, Men’s Soccer
Zoe Stukenberg, Women’s Lacrosse
Jake Butt, Football
Nicole Artz, Women’s Gymnastics
Josiah Price, Football
Alexis Wiersma, Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field
Lee Stecklein, Women’s Hockey
Luca Wieland, Men’s Track & Field
Drew Wiseman, Men’s Track & Field
Tierra Williams, Women’s Track & Field
Austin Carr, Football
Nandi Mehta, Women’s Soccer
Emma Baranski, Women’s Synchronized Swimming
Christy Blough, Men’s Volleyball
David Goodwin, Men’s Hockey
Abby Smucker, Women’s Lacrosse
August Kim, Women’s Golf
Jake Replogle, Football
Alyssa Bull, Field Hockey
Ken Theobold, Wrestling
Lauren Carlini, Volleyball
Connor Medbery, Wrestling