Patterson and Patacsil win Big Ten Medal of Honor

I just recieved the following press release from Scott Chipman, Assistant Comissioner of Communications for the Big Ten Conference. Purdue highlights are brought out after the jump, as Wrestler Jake Patacsil and Track and Field Olympian Kara Patterson were named as winners from Purdue.

BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Park Ridge, Ill. - The Big Ten Conference office announced the 2009 Medal of Honor winners today.  The award was established in 1914 when the Big Ten endowed a Medal of Honor to be given annually to a student in the graduating class of each university that demonstrated proficiency in scholarship and athletics.  In 1982, the Medal of Honor was expanded to include a senior female athlete from each institution.

This year, 22 student-athletes, representing 14 sports, have been chosen for the Medal of Honor. The recipients include 16 All-Big Ten selections and 21 Academic All-Big Ten honorees.

In addition, six Medal of Honor winners were named Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honorees for their respective sports during the academic year, including Illinois' Trent Meacham (men's basketball), Indiana's Austin Starr (football), Minnesota's Matt Nohelty (baseball), Northwestern's Eric Peterman (football), Penn State's Zoe Bouchelle (soccer) and Purdue's Jake Patacsil (wrestling). Of the more than 270 Sportsmanship Award honorees named throughout the year, Meacham and Peterman were chosen as two of 22 winners of the Outstanding Sportsmanship Award announced on June 4.

On the field, Medal of Honor selections guided their teams to four Big Ten Championships and two Big Ten Tournament titles during the 2008-09 campaign. Iowa's Lauren Pfeiffer led her field hockey team to the Big Ten Tournament crown, Ohio State's Brian Robiskie boosted his school to a share of the Big Ten Championship in football, while Penn State's Bouchelle helped her squad claim the Big Ten Championship and Big Ten Tournament title in soccer. Both Michigan State Medal of Honor winners claimed titles, with Doug DeMartin helping the Spartans to the Big Ten Championship in soccer while Sarah Schmidt was part of a Big Ten title team in rowing. Five Medal of Honor choices also garnered individual Big Ten titles, including Michigan's Steve Luke (174-pound wrestling title) and Tiffany Ofili (indoor 60-meter hurdles and outdoor 100-meter hurdles and long jump champion), Minnesota's Jenny Shaughnessy (200- and 400-yard individual medley swimming champion), Purdue's Kara Patterson (outdoor javelin champion) and Wisconsin's Gwen Jorgensen (indoor 3,000-meter champion).

Additionally, six Medal of Honor winners garnered Big Ten individual accolades for their performances during the 2008-09 campaign. For the Spartans, DeMartin was picked as the Men's Soccer Player of the Year while Schmidt was named the Rowing Athlete of the Year. In track and field, the Wolverines' Ofili was chosen as the Indoor Track Athlete of the Year while the Boilermakers' Patterson was tabbed the Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year. In field hockey, the Buckeyes' Linda Haussener was named offensive Co-Player of the Year. In the pool, the Gophers' Shaughnessy was honored as the Swimmer of the Championships.

The 2009 Big Ten Medal of Honor winners are:

Illinois

Trent Meacham, Men's Basketball

Emily Zurrer, Women's Soccer

Indiana

Austin Starr, Football

Whitney Thomas, Women's Basketball

Iowa

Eric MacTaggart, Men's Cross Country and Track and Field

Lauren Pfeiffer, Women's Field Hockey

Michigan

Steve Luke, Wrestling

Tiffany Ofili, Women's Track and Field

Michigan State

Doug DeMartin, Men's Soccer

Sarah Schmidt, Women's Rowing

Minnesota

Matthew Nohelty, Baseball

Jenny Shaughnessy, Women's Swimming and Diving

Northwestern

Eric Peterman, Football

Samantha Nemecek, Women's Fencing

Ohio State

Brian Robiskie, Football

Linda Haussener, Women's Field Hockey

Penn State

James Pagana, Men's Track and Field

Zoe Bouchelle, Women's Soccer

Purdue

Jake Patacsil, Wrestling

Kara Patterson, Women's Track and Field

Wisconsin

Joe Krabbenhoft, Men's Basketball

Gwen Jorgensen, Women's Track and Field

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