MINNEAPOLIS -- University of Minnesota seniors Lee Stecklein (women's hockey) and Luca Wieland (men's track & field) have been named the 2017 Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients. The award is given annually to the top female and male student-athlete at each conference institution. This year, the conference is celebrating the 103rd anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor.
A native of Roseville, Minn., Stecklein led the Gopher women's hockey team to three national titles during her five-year career with the Maroon & Gold. She was part of the first-ever perfect season in NCAA women’s hockey history, helping the Gophers to a 41-0-0 record as a freshman in 2012-13 before missing the 2013-14 season while earning an Olympic silver medal with the U.S. Olympic Women’s Hockey Team. Stecklein returned to the Gophers for 2014-15 and served as a team captain for three consecutive seasons, including captaining the Gophers to back-to-back NCAA titles in 2015 and 2016. As a senior, she earned her third AHCA/CCM All-American award and her third All-WCHA First Team accolade of her career. Stecklein wrapped up her career ranked seventh in scoring among all-time Gopher defensemen with 93 career points. An Entrepreneurial Management major in Minnesota’s Carlson School of Business, Stecklein was a CoSIDA Academic All-American last season as is up for Academic All-District honors again this year in addition to her three WCHA Scholar Athlete and WCHA All-Academic Team merits.
A native of Saarbrucken, Germany, Wieland has cemented his place in school history as Minnesota’s all-time greatest multi-event competitor. As a sophomore, he became the 13th Gopher to earn an individual national championship when he captured the 2015 NCAA indoor heptathlon title while earning his first of two First Team All-America honors in the event. Wieland also won the 2015 Big Ten indoor heptathlon title while he will look to become the first man in Big Ten history to win three-straight outdoor decathlon championships later this year. Among his accomplishments in competition, Wieland holds both of Minnesota’s multi-events records, breaking his own heptathlon record (6,070 points) and the decathlon record (8,201 points) earlier this year. Wieland, an Entrepreneurial Management major in Minnesota’s Carlson School of Business, is a two-time Academic All-American as well as a two-time Academic All-Big and USTFCCCA All-Academic honoree.
About the Big Ten Medal of Honor
The Big Ten, the nation's oldest collegiate conference, commemorates the 103rd 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-athlete from the graduating class of each university who had "attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work." Big Ten schools currently feature almost 9,500 student-athletes, but only 28 earn this prestigious award on an annual basis. Almost 1,400 student-athletes have earned this distinction.
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