72 Gophers Earn Academic All-Big Ten Honors
Jon Christenson, the team's Butch Nash Award winner for being competitive on the field and in the classroom, was on the list.

Dec. 11, 2013

The Big Ten named the Academic All-Big Ten selections for the fall sports teams on Wednesday morning. Minnesota had 72 Gopher student-athletes who were honored for the academic successes which is up 2 from 70 in 2012.

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 Gopher football team's Academic All-Big Ten selections were up 4 from 31 in 2012. Nineteen of the football team's honorees started at least one game, including All-Big Ten First Team safety Brock Vereen and both quarterbacks, Mitch Leidner and Philip Nelson. Jon Christenson, the team's Butch Nash Award winner for being competitive on the field and in the classroom, was on the list.

Men's cross country counted six Academic All-Big Ten selections including Aaron Bartnik who won the individual crown in his first official collegiate race at the Fall Finale. Bartnik clocked a 24:43 over the eight-kilometer course to win the individual crown by more than 20 seconds. On the women's side, sixteen runners were honored for their academic success. Six of the Gophers' seven NCAA Championship runners have been recognized with academic All-Big Ten honors:  Liz Berkkholtz, Maggie Bollig, Laura Docherty, Becca Dyson, Molly Kayfes and Katie Moraczewski. Seniors Rachel Drake and Katie Moraczewski are four-time academic All-Big Ten honorees. Drake, a biochemistry and Spanish major, was nominated for the Rhodes Scholarship this fall. Last year, she was honored as  Big Ten Conference Distinguished Scholar as well. Meanwhile, Moraczewski is a graphic design and strategic communications major. 

The Gopher women's soccer team, who made their return to the NCAA Tournament this season, led by leading scorer, Katie Thyken, placed 10 members on the Academic All-Big Ten team. Thyken, who was a co-captain this season, lead the Gophers with 7 goals this season. She is joined by seniors MacKenzie Misel, Lauren Bauer and Steph Brandt

Rounding out the Academic All-Big Ten honorees with five selections is the women's volleyball team. The Gophers, who will travel to Lexington, Ky. to play in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, are led by seniors Ashley Wittman and Alexandra Palmer. Wittman recieved her second unaniamous All-Big Ten honor at the conclusion of the regular season. The 6-foot outside hitter ranked second on the team in kills (380), kills per set (3.36) and points (431.5) and first in attempts (963) and digs. A six-rotation student-athlete, Wittman also led Minnesota with 14 double-doubles.

In all, the Big Ten Conference recognized a total of 869 fall sports student-athletes who have been named to the Academic All-Conference team. The list of honored student-athletes features 74 field hockey players, 271 football players, 75 men’s and 140 women’s cross country runners, 81 men’s and 153 women’s soccer players and 75 volleyball players. The full list of honorees can be found here. 

2013 Minnesota Academic All-Big Ten Honorees


Michael Amaefula - Jr. Physiology Arlington, Texas

Cole Banham - Sr. Business And Marketing Education Lakeville, Minn.

Alex Bisch - Gr. Kinesiology Northfield, Minn.

Joe Bjorklund - Jr. Business And Marketing Education Rosemount, Minn.

Briean Boddy-Calhoun - Jr. Elementary Education Wilmington, Del.

Cameron Botticelli - Sr. Political Science Milwaukee, Wis.

Foster Bush - Sr. Kinesiology Menasha, Wis.

Jon Christenson - Sr. Biochemistry Minnetonka, Minn.

Derrick Engel - Sr. Business And Marketing Education Chaska, Minn.

Jake Filkins - Gr. Innovation Studies (certificate) Prescott, Wis.

Isaac Fruechte - Sr. Recreation, Park And Leisure Studies Caledonia, Minn.

Drew Goodger - Jr. Business And Marketing Education Shawnee Mission, Kan.

Chris Hawthorne - Sr. Business And Marketing Education Raleigh, N.C.

Ernie Heifort - Jr. Sport Management Bemidji, Minn.

Mike Henry - Gr. Addiction Studies (certificate) Mahtomedi, Minn.

Aaron Hill - Gr. Applied Kinesiology St. Charles, Mo.

Marcus Jones - Sr. Kinesiology Wake Forest, N.C.

Victor Keise - Gr. Applied Kinesiology Coral Springs, Fla.

Ben Lauer - So. Engineering Plymouth, Minn.

Mitch Leidner - So. Undeclared Lakeville, Minn.

Grayson Levine - Jr. Marketing Eden Prairie, Minn.

Jephte Matilus - Jr. Communication Studies Delray Beach, Fla.

KJ Maye - So. Undeclared Mobile, Ala.

Gabe Mezzenga - Sr. Finance Shoreview, Minn.

Peter Mortell - Jr. Marketing Green Bay, Wis.

Philip Nelson - So. Undeclared Mankato, Minn.

Ed Olson - Gr. Addiction Studies (certificate) Mahtomedi, Minn.

Tommy Olson - Jr. Communication Studies Mahtomedi, Minn.

Jonah Pirsig - So. Undeclared Blue Earth, Minn.

Lincoln Plsek - So. Engineering West, Texas

Nick Rallis - So. Undeclared Edina, Minn.

Dave Ramlet - Sr. Finance Appleton, Wis.

Yoshoub Timms - So. Undeclared Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Brock Vereen - Sr. Communication Studies Valencia, Calif.

Maxx Williams - So. Undeclared Waconia, Minn.


Aaron Bartnik - Jr. Electrical Engineering Eden Prairie, Minn.

Alex Brend - Jr. Biology Lake Zurich, Ill.

Blayne Dulian - Jr. Business And Marketing Education/Human Resource De Coon Rapids, Minn.

Bob Nicolls - Gr. Finance Parker, Colo.

Steve Sulkin - Sr. Mathematics Elmhurst, Ill.

Adam Zutz - Jr. Engineering St. Francis, Minn.


Te'Shon Adderley - Sr. Business And Marketing Education Nassau, Bahamas

Abby Anderson - Sr. Nursing Perham, Minn.

Megan Bailey - Jr. Broadcast Journalism Minnetonka, Minn.

Liz Berkholtz - Jr. Psychology And Kinesiology Sun Prairie, Wis.

Maggie Bollig - Sr. Human Resources And Psychology Cross Plains, Wis.

Laura Docherty - Sr. Marketing St. Paul, Minn.

Rachel Drake - Sr. Biochemistry And Spanish White Bear Lake, Minn.

Becca Dyson - Jr. Strategic Communications Roseville, Minn.

Katie Hill - Sr. Sociology And Political Science Onalaska, Wis.

Haley Johnson - So. Food Science Plymouth, Wis.

Jillian Johnson - Sr. Microbiology/Pre-Med Green Bay, Wis.

Molly Kayfes - Sr. Marketing Maple Grove, Minn.

Kaitlin Mincke - Sr. Strategic Communications Farmington, Minn.

Katie Moraczewski - Sr. Graphic Design And Strategic Communications White Bear Lake, Minn.

Kaila Urick - Jr. Strategic Journalism Chaska, Minn.

Jamie Vandenberg - Sr. Kinesiology Niagara, Wis.


Ellen Arvesen - So. Undecided Pine Springs, Minn.

Lauren Bauer - Sr. Kinesiology Eagan, Minn.

Stephanie Brandt - Sr. Biology Rochester, Minn.

Elle Dykema - So. Kinesiology Northfield, Minn.

Kristen Knutson - So. Undeclared Eagan, Minn.

MacKenzie Misel - Sr. Elementary Education Ankeny, Iowa

Allison Reinke - So. Graphic Design Stillwater, Minn.

Rebecca Roberts - Jr. Pre-Med Lino Lakes, Minn.

Katie Thyken - Sr. Biomedical Engineering Eden Prairie, MInn.

Taylor Wodnick - Jr. Sociology Plymouth, Minn.


Morgan Bohl - Jr. Communications Centennial, Colo.

Karlie Hauer - So. Undeclared Andover, Minn.

Karyn Israel - So. Interior Design Huntington Beach, Calif.

Alexandra Palmer - Sr. Latin Laguna Beach, Calif.

Ashley Wittman - Sr. Sports Management Shakopee, Minn.

Note: Year indicates academic standing, not athletic eligibility.


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