LakeSenior University of Minnesota student-athletes Adam Steele (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie HS) and Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn./Prior Lake Christian HS) have been named the recipients of the Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor for the 2003-04 academic year. Steele, a track &field athlete, and Busse, a volleyball player, earned the highest award bestowed upon a student-athlete in the Big Ten Conference. Each Big Ten school selects a senior student-athlete who represents the very best achievements in all areas: academic excellence, athletic achievement and leadership.
Steele, the 2003 NCAA 400-meter dash champion, completed his college career last weekend as a nine-time All-American at Minnesota. One of the most accomplished sprinters in school history, Steele holds the Golden Gopher record in the 400 with a time of 44.57. An eight-time All-American inrelay events, he was a member of three school-record breaking relay teams - distance medley (9:31.53), 4x400 indoor (3:03.48) and 4x400 outdoor (3:01.03). Steele is also an eight-time Big Ten champion, once in each the 400 meters, 600 meters and distance medley relay, and five times in the 4x400-meter relay. He was also a member of the gold medal-winning 4x400 relay at the 2003 World Track and Field Championships and placed fourth in the 400 at the 2003 Pan American Games. A finalist for Academic All-America honors, Steele was honored at Minnesota's 2003-04 Scholar-Athlete Banquet with the Outstanding Achievement Award, an award that recognize student-athletes who are accomplished in the four major areas emphasized by the NCAA Life Skills Program: Leadership, Academics, Volunteerism and Athletics.
Busse gained national recognition in 2003-04 by receiving America Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) First Team All-America honors and Big Ten Player of the Year honors. During the 2003 NCAA Tournament, she was named the Pacific Region's Most Outstanding Playerand was named to the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team after recording 23 kills against the eventual national champion USC. Busse finished her career ranked sixth on the Minnesota kills list with 1,502. She became only the fourth player in school history to record over 600 kills, recording the fifth-highest total in school history at 614. Busse excelled both on and off the court as she became the first Minnesota volleyball player to receive First Team Academic All-American honors. She also was given the Golddigger Award from the Minnesota Volleyball Booster Club, awarded to the player who demonstrates a positive attitude during competition and also helps promote a positive image for the University of Minnesota.