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‘Various Sports’ Articles

Big Ten announces 106th Medal of Honor Class

 

June 26, 2020

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference celebrated its 106th class of recipients who earned the esteemed Big Ten Medal of Honor earlier this year. Twenty-eight students 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 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 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 1,500 students 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 accounting, advertising management, aerospace engineering, biochemistry, biological sciences, business and marketing education, business operations management, communication, criminology and criminal justice, early childhood education and exceptional needs, economics, electrical engineering, finance, human physiology, journalism, kinesiology, management, physical therapy, political science, psychology, recreation, sport and tourism, Spanish, sport management and others.

The 2020 Big Ten Medal of Honor class of recipients boasts three Academic All-Americans in Michigan’s Guadalupe Fernandez Lacort (field hockey) and Thomas Cope (swimming & diving), as well as Nebraska’s Luke Siedhoff (track & field). The class also includes six 2019-20 Academic All-District honorees — Illinois’ Michael Paradise (gymnastics), Minnesota’s Ivy Lu (gymnastics) and Penn State’s Kaleigh Riehl (soccer), in addition to Cope, Fernandez Lacort and Siedhoff.

Three members of the 2020 Big Ten Medal of Honor class also earned Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award honors in 2020: Purdue’s Jaret Carpenter (cross country/track & field), Nebraska’s Sierra Hassel (gymnastics) and Michigan State’s Cassius Winston (basketball). The trio was joined by Iowa’s Nate Stanley (football), Northwestern’s Jared Thomas (football), Northwestern’s Kirsten Mansfield (field hockey), Ohio State’s Jincy Dunne (ice hockey) and Rutgers’ Jordan Pagano (wrestling), who were named Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honorees in their respective sports during the academic year.

Cope, Paradise and Siedhoff were also recipients of the Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship.

Several students were national or Big Ten individual and/or team champions in 2019-20. Maryland’s Kaila Charles helped lead the Terrapins women’s basketball team to its fifth Big Ten title and fourth Big Ten Tournament title; Cope served as a team captain for Michigan’s swimming and diving team and helped the Wolverines capture a Big Ten Championship, while also winning individual Big Ten titles in the 200-yard breaststroke and 800-yard freestyle relay; Winston led the Michigan State men’s basketball team to a share of the Big Ten regular-season title; Dunne served as a captain for the Ohio State women’s ice hockey team and helped lead the Buckeyes to the first WCHA Championship in program history; Riehl became the NCAA Division I women’s soccer all-time leader in minutes played by a position player as a senior in 2019 and led Penn State to a Big Ten Championship; Ohio State’s Kollin Moore won the 2020 Big Ten Wrestling Championship title at 197 pounds, marking the third time in his career that he captured a Big Ten crown; Purdue’s Janae’ Moffitt won a Big Ten Championship in the indoor high jump, marking the fourth-overall high jump crown of her career; Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson won her third-straight Big Ten title in both the 100- and 200-yard backstroke, captured her second-consecutive 200-yard individual medley title, and also contributed to a first-place finish in the 800-yard freestyle relay; Zach Lorbeck of Wisconsin’s track and field team won the 2020 Big Ten indoor title in the heptathlon, scoring a personal best 5,833 points.

Numerous members of the 2020 Big Ten Medal of Honor Class also earned conference individual awards during the 2019-20 academic year. Hernandez Lacort was named the Big Ten Field Hockey Player of the Year and Carpenter was selected as the 2019 Big Ten Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year. Additionally, Dunne was named the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year for the second-consecutive season.

2019-20 Big Ten Medal of Honor Class

Illinois

Men:                Michael Paradise, Gymnastics

Women:          Taylor Edwards, Basketball/Softball

Indiana

Men:                Jake Kleimola, Wrestling

Women:          Emily Powell, Water Polo

Iowa

Men:                Nate Stanley, Football

Women:          Hannah Greenlee, Rowing

Maryland

Men:                Jared Bernhardt, Lacrosse

Women:          Kaila Charles, Basketball

Michigan

Men:                Thomas Cope, Swimming & Diving

Women:          Guadalupe Fernandez Lacort, Field Hockey

Michigan State

Men:                Cassius Winston, Basketball

Women:          Gabriella Douglas, Gymnastics

Minnesota

Men:                Carter Coughlin, Football

Women:          Ivy Lu, Gymnastics

Nebraska

Men:                Luke Siedhoff, Track & Field

Women:          Sierra Hassel, Gymnastics

Northwestern

Men:                Jared Thomas, Football

Women:          Kirsten Mansfield, Field Hockey

Ohio State

Men:                Kollin Moore, Wrestling

Women:          Jincy Dunne, Ice Hockey

Penn State

Men:                Stephen Nedoroscik, Gymnastics

Women:          Kaleigh Riehl, Soccer

Purdue

Men:                Jaret Carpenter, Cross Country/Track & Field

Women:          Janae’ Moffitt, Track & Field

Rutgers

Men:                Jordan Pagano, Wrestling

Women:          Amanda Visco, Soccer

Wisconsin

Men:                Zach Lorbeck, Track & Field

Women:          Beata Nelson, Swimming & Diving

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY ZACH GROEN; COURTESY BIG TEN COMMUNICATIONS

 

Rutgers Wrestling gets Northwestern transfer and New Jersey native Sebastian Rivera

Sebastian Rivera (courtesy Northwestern Athletics)

RUTGERS ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

RUTGERS, THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW JERSEY

• www.scarletknights.com • @RUAthletics

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Graduate transfer from Northwestern eligible for 2020-21 season

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Two-time All-American, two-time Big Ten Champion and New Jersey native Sebastian Rivera has enrolled at Rutgers University as a graduate transfer student. Rivera, who previously competed at Northwestern from 2016-20, is immediately eligible to participate in 2020-21 for Rutgers wrestling and will have one season of eligibility remaining.

 

“We’re excited to welcome Sebastian back home to Jersey and cannot wait to get him in our wrestling room with the rest of the guys,” said head coach Scott Goodale. “Sebastian is an instant threat to win both a Big Ten and national title and it is awesome he will have an opportunity to do so in his home state with a Rutgers singlet on.”

 

Regarded as one of the top lightweights in the country, Rivera is a two-time All-American who produced 73 varsity victories during his time with the Wildcats. As a senior this past season, Rivera battled injury to finish with a 12-2 record, which included a win over Penn State’s Roman Bravo-Young in the 133-pound Big Ten Championship bout at the RAC this past March. Rivera was named Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Championships, as voted on by the coaches of all competing teams.

 

Rivera also defeated two-time NCAA champion Spencer Lee of Iowa to claim the 125-pound conference title in 2019. Rivera placed third at the NCAA Championships in Pittsburgh, his highest-career finish at the national tournament after he placed sixth in 2018 at 125 pounds. Rivera earned the No. 1 overall seed in his weight class at this year’s NCAA Championships in Minneapolis before the season was canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

A former New Jersey high school standout, Rivera was a two-time state placewinner and captured a NJSIAA state title in 2016 while wrestling at Christian Brothers Academy. Rivera went 31-1 en route to his state title as a senior, as he also claimed regional and district titles along with a gold medal at Super 32. Rivera finished his high school career as a three-time district and two-time region champion and became CBA’s first individual state title winner since 1968.

 

A native of Toms River, New Jersey, Rivera is the son of Melissa and Steve Rivera. Steve Rivera was a Division III national champion at The College of New Jersey and was inducted into the NWCA Division III Hall of Fame in 2018.

 

Rivera joins a program that wrapped up another successful dual season, as its 10-7 record in 2019-20 marked the 14th consecutive winning campaign for the Scarlet Knights and the 13th since Goodale took over the program in 2007. RU also finished ranked in the NWCA Coaches Poll for the ninth time under Goodale’s leadership. Home attendance for wrestling at the RAC remained one of the highest in the country, as Rutgers was fourth nationally with 4,292 fans per home event.

 

Follow Rutgers Athletics on Facebook (/RutgersAthletics) and Twitter (@RUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates. For specific updates regarding Rutgers wrestling, follow the program on Twitter (@RUWrestling) and Instagram (@RUWrestling). Fans can receive timely information, including special offers and giveaways throughout the year on our social media outlets along with www.ScarletKnights.com. For additional updates, please download the Gameday App.

 

–RU–

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Bradly Derechailo: COURTESY RUTGERS ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS

 

Rutgers Swimming and Diving welcomes back former All-American Casmera Wick to Coaching Staff

 

RUTGERS ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

RUTGERS, THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW JERSEY

• www.scarletknights.com • @RUAthletics

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Twitter/Instagram: @RUSwimDive

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The Rutgers women’s swimming and diving program welcomes former letterwinner and two-time All-American Casmera Wick back “To The Banks” as an assistant coach, it was announced on Friday. Wick has compiled 11 seasons of coaching on the pool deck along with working alongside USA Swimming on the club level.
Serving the last eight seasons at Villanova as an Associate Head Swimming Coach and Aquatics Coordinator, Wick helped the Wildcat women capture seven-straight Big East Championships and earned a spot on the Big East’s Women’s Coaching Staff of the Year seven times. Most recently in 2019-20, 14 members of the Villanova women’s team earned All-Big East honors, including 11 Wildcats in multiple events. Additionally, she was named to the Big East Men’s Coaching Staff of the Year helping the Villanova men to a runner-up performance in 2018. Throughout her tenure, Villanova’s rosters included numerous Big East individual and relay champions and Wildcats with NCAA provisional times, in addition to an all-american and University Games and Olympic Trials qualifiers.

Prior to her time at Villanova, Wick spent the 2011-12 season at Pittsburgh as an assistant responsible for all aspects of the Panther program. She accompanied one of the team’s top student-athletes to the 2012 Canadian Olympic Trials resulting in a second-place finish in the men’s 100 butterfly.

Wick also spent two seasons at Swarthmore, including the 2009-10 season as associate head coach and 2010-11 season as interim head coach. In addition to overseeing both the men’s and women’s programs, she also ran the Swarthmore December Invitational and was a physical education instructor.

At the club level, Wick was a co-head coach of Pitt Aquatics, an assistant for the Central Bucks Swim Team for four seasons and began her coaching career with the Hideaway Swim Team.

As a student-athlete and two-time captain at Rutgers, Wick was a two-time NCAA All-American and three-time NCAA qualifier. During her career, she set school records in eight different events and her name can still be found in the Scarlet Knight record books with the third-fastest 200 freestyle, fourth-fastest 100 freestyle, and seventh-fastest 500 freestyle times. As a senior, she won Big East titles with the 400 medley and 800 freestyle relay teams and was awarded the prestigious Headley-Singer Award bestowed to the top senior female student-athlete. An Academic All-American and Big East Academic All-Star, Wick graduated in 2004 with a degree in psychology with a minor in sociology and certificate in criminal justice. 

Follow Rutgers women’s swimming & diving on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

- RU –

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Kimberly Zivkovich; COURTESY RUTGERS ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS


 

Former UCLA Bruin star Felicia Hano joins Arkansas Gymnastics as Volunteer Coach


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Saturday, June 27, 2020

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS GYMNASTICS || @RazorbackGym

FAYETTEVILLE – Head gymnastics coach Jordyn Wieber has announced that former Bruin, Felicia Hano will be joining the Razorbacks this fall as Arkansas’ newest volunteer coach. Hano brings a decorated gymnastics resume to Arkansas and will assist with the vault and floor teams as well as working with the Razorbacks’ social media and creative content teams.

 

“After coaching Felicia at UCLA and watching her success, I knew that she was the right addition for our volunteer coach position,” Wieber said. “She has an incredible knowledge of the sport and she is one of the best NCAA floor and vault competitors I have ever seen. She is a natural leader and performer and she has so much to share with our student-athletes. Without a doubt, she will bring energy and enthusiasm to our program.”

Felicia Hano (courtesy usagym.org)

 

In her final season as a Bruin, Hano competed in the all-around in the final five meets of the season. She finished the year with the second-highest average score among her teammates on both the vault (9.900) and floor (9.950). Hano’s consistent success on the floor also aided in UCLA’s number one spot on the floor for the entirety of the season.

 

Hano capped off her outstanding career at UCLA as a four-time All-Pac-12 honoree: first-team vault and floor in 2019, second-team floor in 2018 and 2020, and six-time All-American: four times on vault, twice on floor exercise. The San Gabriel, Calif. native was contributing member of the 2018 NCAA Team Champion as well, scoring her first career perfect ten on the floor exercise on Feb. 4, 2018, helping the Bruins on their title run.

 

Even before her career at UCLA, Hano was showcasing her abilities, winning the J.O. National all-around and vault championships in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, she was selected to compete at the Pan Am Games and at the 2014 P&G Champions she placed seventh on the floor. Hano won gold on vault and floor and silver in the all-around at the 2014 American Classic as well. She highlighted her elite career with a spot on the U.S. Senior National Team in 2014-15.

 

Hano graduated from UCLA this spring with her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, bringing with her to Arkansas an outstanding career in the classroom as well as the gym.

 

Visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com for the latest information on all things Arkansas Gymnastics. You can also find the Hogs on social media by liking us on Facebook (Arkansas Razorback Gymnastics) and following us on Twitter and Instagram (@RazorbackGym).

 

ArkansasRazorbacks.com || On Twitter @ArkRazorbacks || Facebook.com/ArkansasRazorbacks

 

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Jessica Roberson; COURTESY ARKANSAS COMMUNICATIONS

John Carroll University mourns loss of long-time Sports Information Director Chris Wenzler ’90

Likeable, Personable, Loved by fellow CoSida members, known as “Big Daddy Wenz”

June 24, 2020

Chris Wenzler, the selfless leader of John Carroll University’s Sports Information Department for more than 30 years, died on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 following a two-and-a-half year battle with multiple myeloma. He is survived by his wife, Melissa (Rettew) Wenzler ‘91, and children, Madeline and Oliver. They are joined by the thousands of “Wenzler’s Warriors” who supported Chris throughout his cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Services for Chris will be announced in the coming days.

A tireless promoter of John Carroll University and its student-athletes, Wenzler’s legacy in University Heights began as an undergraduate, where he studied Communications, honed his writing skills at The Carroll News, and continued the family legacy started by his father, Martin Wenzler ‘64.

He was named to the Sports Information post just four months after receiving his diploma in 1990, and quickly became a fixture in the athletic department. In August 2008, Wenzler was given additional responsibilities as John Carroll’s first Assistant Athletic Director for Communications. For his extraordinary efforts on behalf of JCU Athletics and his service to John Carroll and its students, he was elected to the JCU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2019.

His contributions to John Carroll pale in comparison to his role as a mentor to hundreds of student workers who count him as a teacher, advocate, confidant, and friend.

Read more about Wenzler’s leadership in a profile from Onward, John Carroll’s Alumni Magazine.

When Wenzler took over the sports information office on September 15, 1990, the staff consisted of just three students and the office equipment included just one computer (an Apple Macintosh SE), a dot matrix printer, a typewriter, and a phone. Melissa often served as an extra set of hands.

Over the last 30 years, he built an office that now boasts more than 40 student employees, a graduate assistant, and the latest in multimedia and technological equipment.

In recent years, Wenzler pushed John Carroll athletics into the realm of multimedia opportunities. In 2006, he became one of the first sports information directors at the NCAA Division III level to implement a 40-event video webcast schedule for the internet. He was also proactive in securing a multi-sport broadcast schedule with SportsTime Ohio that started in the fall of 2007. In 2013, Wenzler advanced JCU’s video offerings through a partnership with Boxcast for the streaming of athletic events.

While his work has impacted thousands of student athletes, employees, and colleagues, a particular point of pride for Wenzler was his service work. He joined nine immersion trips as a staff member at John Carroll including Jamaica (five times), Ecuador (three times), and Guatemala. On campus, he spearheaded Streaks to the Max, in partnership with Max Cure Foundation. Each year, the events bring together the creative efforts of student athletes to raise money for families affected by pediatric cancer.

Born in Seattle, Washington, on November 7, 1967, Wenzler made many stops before settling in Northeast Ohio, including Seal Beach, CA, Glendale, MO, Maumee, OH, El Paso, TX, Allison Park, PA, Harvard, MA, and Williamsburg, VA.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF JOHN CARROLL UNIVERSITY

 

 

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