June 5, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota seniors Quentin Mege (men's track and field) and Noora Raty (women's hockey) have been named winners for this year's Big Ten Medal of Honor award, given annually to the top male and female student-athlete at each conference institution.
A three-time All-American and three-time Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award finalist, Räty closed out a historic collegiate career by guiding the Gophers to back-to-back national titles and a perfect 41-0 season. The Espoo, Finland native posted a spotless 38-0 record this past season and capped off her career by breaking seven NCAA records including single-season and career save percentage, season and career wins, season and career shutouts, and season winning percentage.
A journalism major with a 3.50 grade point average, Räty has also been named to the WCHA All-Academic Team three times and was tagged a WCHA Scholar-Athlete this past season.
A native of Chelles, France, Mege has found success on the field throughout his tenure with the Gopher men's track and field team. An All-American in 2012 and a three-time All-Big Ten selection, Mege won back-to-back conference titles in the hammer throw in 2011 and 2012 and battled through a broken hand to finish as the runner-up this year behind teammate Micah Hegerle. The senior broke his own school record in the hammer throw earlier this year with a toss of 221-05 ft., and will represent the Gophers at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships this weekend in Eugene, Ore.
In the classroom, Mege owned a 3.92 grade point average as an undergraduate studying mechanical engineering and enrolled in graduate school in his final season at Minnesota. The senior was recently named to his second-straight Academic All-Big Ten team as well as his second-consecutive CoSIDA Academic All-District Team - making Mege eligible for Capital One Academic All-America honors, an accolade the thrower earned as a junior in 2012. Mege was also named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar in 2012.
The 12 institutions of the Big Ten Conference feature more than 8,200 student-athletes, more than any other conference, and only 24 of those individuals are recognized each year with the Big Ten Medal of Honor. In the 99 years of the Medal of Honor, over 1,300 student-athletes have earned this distinction. 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."
The Big Ten Medal of Honor was the first award in intercollegiate athletics to demonstrate support for the educational emphasis placed on athletics. It was acclaimed throughout the nation, and in particular by the NCAA "as one of the significant gestures yet made in college sports." The Big Ten Medal of Honor was expanded in 1982 to include one female student-athlete from each institution. In 2014, the conference will celebrate the 100th anniversary of this prestigious award.
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