Courtesy: Big Ten Conference
The Big Ten Conference celebrated its 107th class of recipients who earned the esteemed Big Ten Medal of Honor earlier this year. Twenty-eight student-athletes from 18 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-athlete 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 9,800 student-athletes, 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 1,500 student-athletes have earned this distinction.
This year’s honorees claimed national and conference academic and athletic accolades, along with numerous Big Ten team and individual championships. Every recipient claimed Academic All-Big Ten or All-Big Ten recognition at least once in their career, while pursuing diverse fields of study with a list of majors that includes biochemistry, bioethics, business, cell biology, communications, corporate finance, economics, English, entrepreneurship and corporate innovation, finance/management, general management/marketing, genetics, genomics, information systems, kinesiology, mechanical engineering, neuroscience, psychology, science, secondary education, security and risk analysis, Scandinavian studies, Spanish, sports and recreation management, supply chain management and others.
The 2021 Big Ten Medal of Honor class of recipients boasts three Academic All-America selections in Penn State’s Pierre Reedy (men’s soccer), Wisconsin’s Sydney Hilley (women’s volleyball) and Penn State’s Kerry Abello, who was also named the Academic All-America of the Year for Division I women’s soccer.
Five members of the 2021 Big Ten Medal of Honor class were named Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honorees in their respective sports during the academic year: Illinois’ Tristyn Nowlin (women’s golf), Indiana’s Ethan Shepherd (men’s golf), Minnesota’s Sarah Bacon (women’s diving), Ohio State’s Ryan Terefenko (men’s lacrosse) and Penn State’s Abello (women’s soccer). Abello was also named one of the Big Ten’s 28 Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners.
In addition to earning the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Nebraska’s Evan Hymanson (men’s gymnastics) also received a Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship.
Numerous members of the 2021 Big Ten Medal of Honor Class also earned conference individual awards during the 2020-21 academic year. Iowa’s Spencer Lee was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year, Iowa’s Anthe Nijziel was selected as the Big Ten Field Hockey Player of the Year, Minnesota’s Bacon was named Women’s Diver of the Year and Wisconsin’s Hilley earned Big Ten Setter of the Year.
The full list of 2020-21 Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients can be found below.
2020-21 Big Ten Medal of Honor Class
Men: Mike Carr, Wrestling
Women: Tristyn Nowlin, Golf
Men: Ethan Shepherd, Golf
Women: Hanna Németh, Soccer
Men: Spencer Lee, Wrestling
Women: Anthe Nijziel, Field Hockey
Men: Roman Puglise, Lacrosse
Women: Grace Griffin, Lacrosse
Men: Adam Shibley, Football
Women: Alice Hill, Track and Field
Men: Bryce Kelley, Baseball
Women: Amanda Ling, Swimming & Diving
Men: Jack LaFontaine, Ice Hockey
Women: Sarah Bacon, Swimming & Diving
Men: Evan Hymanson, Gymnastics
Women: Abigail Knapton, Swimming & Diving
Men: Ryan Deakin, Wrestling
Women: Lindsey Pulliam, Basketball
Men: Ryan Terefenko, Lacrosse
Women: Sade Olatoye, Track and Field
Men: Pierre Reedy, Soccer
Women: Kerry Abello, Soccer
Men: Brandon Loschiavo, Swimming & Diving
Women: Emily Bretscher, Swimming & Diving
Men: Kieran Mullins, Lacrosse
Women: Gianna Glatz, Field Hockey
Men: Linus Weissbach, Ice Hockey
Women: Sydney Hilley, Volleyball