Big Ten Conference Honors 49 Gophers as Distinguished Scholars
Troy Larson

July 10, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS – Forty-nine student-athletes from the University of Minnesota have been honored by the Big Ten Conference with Distinguished Scholar Awards, conference officials announced on Wednesday.

Minnesota featured 16 programs with at least one Distinguished Scholar Award winner for the 2012-13 academic year. Women’s track and field/cross country paced the Gophers athletic department with 15 honorees.

Additionally, Minnesota featured seven student-athletes with 4.0 grade point averages for the year in Troy Larson (baseball), Heather Brunn (women’s cross country), Kathryn Ritter (women’s cross country), Nathan Fortunato (men’s gymnastics), Erica Meyer (softball), Jessica Plant (women’s swimming and diving) and Amy Kumbat (women’s track and field).  

In February of 2008, Big Ten Faculty Representatives established a conference academic recognition to supplement the Academic All-Big Ten program. Similar to the Academic All-Big Ten honor, Distinguished Scholar Award recipients must be letterwinners in at least their second academic year at their institution. However, the Distinguished Scholar Award encompasses only student-athletes with a minimum GPA of 3.7 or higher for the previous academic year, excluding summer school. The Academic All-Big Ten threshold is a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for a student-athlete’s academic career.

2012-13 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award Winners

Troy Larson, Baseball     

Maggie Bollig, Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field 

Heather Brunn, Women’s Cross Country 

Kate Bucknam, Women’s Cross Country   

Ashlie Decker, Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field 

Rachel Drake, Women’s Cross Country   

Becca Dyson, Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field 

Molly Kayfes, Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field 

Cassy Opitz, Women’s Cross Country  

Jamie Piepenburg, Women’s Cross Country 

Kathryn Ritter, Women’s Cross Country 

Alex Bisch, Football    

Chris Hawthorne, Football    

Jackie Shepherd, Women’s Golf   

Nathan Fortunato, Men’s Gymnastics   

Jack Metcalf, Men’s Gymnastics   

Spencer Smith, Men’s Gymnastics   

Jannell Campbell, Women’s Gymnastics   

Shannon Golich, Women’s Gymnastics  

Hannah Brandt, Women’s Ice Hockey   

Bethany Brausen, Women’s Ice Hockey  

Lee Stecklein, Women’s Ice Hockey   

Sarah Sobek, Women’s Rowing   

Katherine Windsor, Women’s Rowing  

Bree Blanchette, Softball    

Kelsey Klucas, Softball  

Erica Meyer, Softball   

Sara Moulton, Softball   

Kaitlyn Richardson, Softball    

CJ Smith, Men’s Swimming & Diving   

Derek Toomey, Men’s Swimming & Diving 

Lauren Greenberg, Women’s Swimming & Diving

Kiera Janzen, Women’s Swimming & Diving 

Jessica Plant, Women’s Swimming & Diving 

Tori Simenec, Women’s Swimming & Diving 

Mathieu Froment, Men’s Tennis 

Eric Frueh, Men’s Tennis   

Jack Hamburg, Men’s Tennis  

Yuliana Umanets, Women’s Tennis  

Jake Malm, Men’s Track & Field   

Quentin Mege, Men’s Track & Field 

Alex Beckman, Women’s Track & Field  

Caitlyn Dongoske, Women’s Track & Field 

Briana Jones, Women’s Track & Field  

Amy Kubat, Women’s Track & Field  

Katie Murgic, Women’s Track & Field  

Todea-Kay Willis, Women’s Track & Field 

Tom Giaimo, Wrestling   

Kevin Steinhaus, Wrestling  


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