June 4, 2014
Minnesota seniors Sara Moulton (softball) and Derek Toomey (men's swimming) 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. This year, the conference is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor.
Moulton, the second Gopher softball player to win the award and first since Shannon Beeler in 1999, was named a National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Second Team All-American this year and was a four-time All-Big Ten honoree during her career. She led the conference in wins with 27 and strikeouts with 244 and was one of three pitchers in the league with a sub-2.00 earned run average at 1.97. She was a top-30 finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, was named CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District 6, and took home Big Ten Pitcher of the Week laurels three times.
In her final season in Maroon and Gold, Moulton picked up road victories against ranked foes LSU, Arizona State, Nebraska, and Michigan and defeated the Wolverines a second time to help Minnesota capture its second Big Ten Tournament championship in Evanston, Ill. Her no-hitter Feb. 22 against Hampton was one of her 12 shutouts on the season, a mark that led the conference and was good for sixth in the nation.
The Eagan, Minn., native finished her Gopher career with a 112-50 record, holding the program records for wins, appearances (178), innings pitched (1,017), complete games (108), shutouts (47) and strikeouts (1,184). She was taken fifth overall in the National Pro Fastpitch College Draft by the Chicago Bandits and recently earned her first professional win.
Toomey ended his stellar four-year career as a 15-time All-American, including three First Team All-American honors. As a senior, he set a school record and became the first swimmer in Big Ten history to go under 19 seconds in the 50 free when he finished in 18.95 in a prelim split at the 2014 NCAA Championships. He was the 2014 Big Ten champion in the event and placed fourth at the 2014 NCAA Championships after placing third in 2013.
Toomey, who is from Madison, Wis., was named the Team MVP as a senior, was a two-time team captain and was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. He was a First Team All-Big Ten selection two times, and he leaves Minnesota as a school record holder in the 50 free (18.95), 100 free (42.60) and the 200 freestyle relay (1:16.78).
About the Big Ten Medal of Honor
The Big Ten, the nation’s oldest collegiate conference, commemorates the 100th 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 more than 8,200 student-athletes, but only 24 will earn this prestigious award in 2014. In the 99 years of the Medal of Honor, more than 1,300 student-athletes have earned this distinction.
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