Dec. 6, 2012
The Big Ten has honored Minnesota's fall sports teams with 70 Academic All-Big Ten selections, conference officials announced today.
In order for qualify for Academic All-Big Ten honors, student-athletes must be letterwinners in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a career grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better.
Minnesota's fall sports include men's and women's cross country, football, women's soccer and women's volleyball.
The Gophers' 70 Academic All-Big Ten selections were up 11 from 59 in 2011, with most of the increase coming from football. The Gopher football program counted 31 honorees, an increase of 13 over last year, and trailed only Northwestern, which had 34 selections, for most in the Big Ten.
Included among the football honorees were defensive starters Michael Amaefula, Cameron Botticelli, Keanon Cooper, Aaron Hill, Mike Rallis and Brock Vereen. On offense, starters Jon Christenson, Derrick Engel, Drew Goodger, Ed Olson, Tommy Olson and John Rabe, who was already named a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, all earned the academic accolade.
Men's cross country counted four Academic All-Big Ten selections, headed by Pieter Gagnon, who was the Gophers' No. 2 finisher at this fall's Big Ten Championships. On the women's side, both of the squad's top performers, Molly Kayfes and Laura Dochertywere among the program's 19 honorees. Kayfes was the Gophers' top finisher at both the Midwest Regional and NCAA Championships, while Docherty was the first Gopher across the line at the Big Ten Championships, finishing ninth and earning second team all-conference honors.
Led by first team All-Big Ten selection Taylor Uhl, women's soccer placed 12 members on the Academic All-Big Ten team. Uhl, who led the Big Ten with 21 goals in 2012, was also a third team All-American and helped continue a run that has seen the team rank among the most academically honor programs in the conference.
The Gopher women's volleyball team, which this weekend plays in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament at Purdue, rounded out the list of Academic All-Big Ten honorees with four selections. The quartet is led by honorable mention All-Big Ten pick Ashley Wittman, who finished the regular season with 308 kills and 308 digs and is the only current Gopher to record over 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in her career.
In all, the conference recognized a total of 816 fall sports student-athletes. The list of honored student-athletes features 72 field hockey players, 259 football players, 58 men's and 127 women's cross country runners, 78 men's and 147 women's soccer players and 75 volleyball players.
Minnesota Fall 2012 Academic All-Big Ten Selections
Michael Amaefula - So., Undeclared, Arlington, Texas
Joey Balthazor - Sr., Economics, Hartland, Wis.
Brendan Beal - Gr., Graduate Studies, Bangor, Pa.
Alex Bisch - Sr., Kinesiology, Northfield, Minn.
Joe Bjorklund - So., Undeclared, Rosemount, Minn.
Cameron Botticelli - Jr., Political Science, Milwaukee, Wis.
Foster Bush - Jr., Undeclared, Menasha, Wis.
Jon Christenson - Jr., Biochemistry, Minnetonka, Minn.
Theiren Cockran - So., Pre Computer Science, Homestead, Fla.
Keanon Cooper - Gr., Applied Kinesiology, Dallas, Texas
Devin Crawford-Tufts - So., Undeclared, Edina, Minn.
Derrick Engel - Jr., Business and Marketing Education, Chaska, Minn.
Jake Filkins - Sr., Kinesiology, Prescott, Wis.
Drew Goodger - So., Undeclared, Shawnee Mission, Kan.
Ryan Grant - Gr., Applied Kinesiology, Eden Prairie, Minn.
Mike Henry - Sr., Business and Marketing Education, Mahtomedi, Minn.
Aaron Hill - Sr., Kinesiology, St. Charles, Mo.
Marcus Jones - So., Undeclared, Wake Forest, N.C.
Grayson Levine - So., Undeclared, Eden Prairie, Minn.
Jephte Matilus - So., Communication Studies, Delray Beach, Fla.
Steven Montgomery - So., Undeclared, Miramar, Fla.
Peter Mortell - So., Marketing, Green Bay, Wis.
Ed Olson - Sr., Business and Marketing Education, Mahtomedi, Minn.
Tommy Olson - So., Communication Studies, Mahtomedi, Minn.
John Rabe - Sr., Business & Marketing Education, Iowa Falls, Iowa
Mike Rallis - Sr., Marketing, Edina, Minn.
David Schwerman - Sr., Accounting, Kettle Moraine, Wis.
Max Shortell - So., Undeclared, Shawnee Mission, Kan.
Cedric Thompson - So., Undeclared, Calipatria, Calif.
Brock Vereen - So., Communication Studies, Valencia, Calif.
Jordan Wettstein - Sr., Accounting, DePere, Wis.
MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY (4)
Blayne Dulian - So., Business and Marketing Education, Coon Rapids, Minn.
Pieter Gagnon - Sr., Mechanical Engineering, Minneapolis, Minn.
Bob Nicolls - Jr., Accounting, Parker, Colo.
Adam Zutz - So., Undeclared, St. Francis, Minn.
WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY (19)
Liz Berkholtz - So., Undeclared, Sun Prairie, Wis.
Maggie Bollig - Sr., Psychology, Cross Plains, Wis.
Heather Brunn - Sr., Mathematics, Rogers, Minn.
Kate Bucknam - So., Undeclared, Fayetteville, Ark.
Kelli Budd - Sr., Accounting, Omaha, Neb.
Ashlie Decker - Jr., Sport Management, Des Moines, Iowa
Laura Docherty - Sr., Inter-College Program, St. Paul, Minn.
Lauren Domski - So., Pre-Major, Woodbury, Minn.
Rachel Drake - Sr., Spanish Studies, White Bear Lake, Minn.
Becca Dyson - So., Journalism, Roseville, Minn.
Becca Gusmer - Sr., Kinesiology, Green Bay, Wis.
Molly Kayfes - Jr., Business and Marketing Education, Maple Grove, Minn.
Katie Moraczewski - Sr., Graphic Design, White Bear Lake, Minn.
Cassy Opitz - Sr., Inter-College Program, Eden Prairie, Minn.
Kathryn Ritter - Sr., Genetics/Cell Biology, Mukwonago, Wis.
Jessica Schmidt - Sr., Accounting, DePere, Wis.
Annie Talajkowski - Jr., English, Whitefish Bay, Wis.
Hannah Trasser - So., Psychology, Brookfield, Wis.
Bre Valle - Sr., Family Social Science, Minnetonka, Minn.
WOMEN'S SOCCER (12)
Olivia Bagnall - Sr., Sport Management, Lakeville, Minn.
Lauren Bauer - Jr., Kinesiology, Eagan, Minn.
Steph Brandt - Jr., Biology, Rochester, Minn.
MacKenzie Misel - Jr., Elementary Education, Ankeny, Iowa
Cat Parkhill - Sr., Entrepreneurial Management, Apple Valley, Minn.
Allie Phillips - Sr., Biology, Vadnais Heights, Minn.
Marissa Price - Sr., Business and Marketing, Apple Valley, Minn.
Tamara Strahota - Sr., Sport Management, Burnsville, Minn.
Katie Thyken - So., Lower Division Engineering, Eden Prairie, Minn.
Taylor Uhl - So., Lower Division Engineering, Eden Prairie, Minn.
Jackie Voigt - Gr., Applied Kinesiology, Cottage Grove, Minn.
Taylor Wodnick - So., Animal Science, Plymouth, Minn.
Morgan Bohl - So., Undeclared, Centennial, Colo.
Brianna Haugen - Sr., Geography , Minneapolis, Minn.
Mia Tabberson - Sr., Psychology, Muncie, Ind.
Ashley Wittman- Jr., Sports Management, Shakopee, Minn.
Note: Year indicates academic standing, not athletic eligibility.