Courtesy: Big Ten Conference
ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten continues its celebration for the 104th class of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Purdue announced senior Marat Amaltdinov of the swimming and diving team and Ashley Evans of the volleyball program were awarded the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor to highlight the sixth-annual Golden Pete Awards show Monday at Holloway Gymnasium. Amaltdinov was the Big Ten champion in the 200 breaststroke as a sophomore and a junior, becoming Purdue’s first men’s swimmer to repeat at Big Tens since 2004 to 2005. He qualified for the NCAA Championships four years in a row, but opted to pass on his bid in 2016 to train for the Russian Olympic Trials. The following year, Amaltdinov was a championship finalist in the 200 breast at NCAAs, becoming the program’s first swimmer to earn full-fledged All-America honors since 2006.
Amaltdinov was a second team Academic All-American as a junior (the first Boilermaker men’s swimmer so honored), earning his bachelor’s degree in finance in just three years with a 3.81 grade-point average despite English being his second language. He is set to complete his master’s degree in finance this spring. Amaltdinov established program records in the 200 breaststroke and 400 medley relay during his career. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, he again is an Academic All-America nominee and is line to earn Big Ten Distinguished Scholar honors for the third year in a row. The two-time first team All-Big Ten performer was recognized as the Big Ten Swimmer of the Week four times in his career.
Evans, a setter from Liberty Township, Ohio, was a four-year letterwinner for the Boilermakers. As a senior, she earned All-America and Academic All-America honors, becoming just the fourth student-athlete in program history to do so in the same season. Evans is the first Big Ten volleyball student-athlete to be named an Academic All-American three times. She is merely the fourth Purdue volleyball student-athlete to garner four Academic All-Big Ten selections and the third three-time academic all-district honoree. Evans is the only Boilermaker to amass 4,000 career assists and 1,000 career digs. During her senior year, Evans set the offense to the most-efficient hitting percentage in school history as Purdue hit .301, ranking ninth in the nation, en route to its third straight NCAA Tournament appearance. She was a first team All-Big Ten and all-region selection.
Evans will be a four-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and as a senior was recipient of the Guy “Red” Mackey Award for volleyball (presented to a player on each varsity team at Purdue that exemplify the overall success of the university’s intercollegiate athletics programs). Evans jumpstarted the Boiler-Maker-Wish Foundation and served as vice president of the Boiler Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for the 2017-18 school year. Evans will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, boasting a 3.86 grade-point average.
The Big Ten, the nation’s oldest collegiate conference, commemorates the 104th anniversary of a very unique tradition – the Big Ten Medal of Honor. The conference’s most exclusive award was the first of its kind in intercollegiate athletics to recognize academic and athletic excellence. The Big Ten Medal of Honor was first awarded in 1915 to one student from the graduating class of each university who had “attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work.” It was expanded in 1982 to include one female student from each institution. 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.