May 28, 2014
ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Seventy-nine Purdue student-athletes received Academic All-Big Ten recognition as the conference office announced its lists of spring honorees on Wednesday. For the 2013-14 school year, the Boilermakers garnered 186 Academic All-Big Ten awards.
To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten honors, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
The conference office will also present the Distinguished Scholar Award in July. Student-athletes eligible for the Distinguished Scholar Award must be letterwinners in at least their second year in residence at their institution. Qualifying student-athletes must have earned a GPA of 3.7 or higher for the current academic year, excluding summer school. The Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award was established by conference Faculty Representatives as an addition to the conference's Academic All-Big Ten program.
Track and field is included among the spring honorees even though the sport competes in championship seasons in the winter and spring. Led by the 30 honorees from the women's team, the Purdue track and field program had 48 Academic All-Big Ten student-athletes this year. Many of those 48 Boilers are competing this week at the NCAA East Preliminary Round Regionals in Jacksonville, Fla., where they will look to punch their tickets to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Led by First Team Academic All-America honoree and the program's new all-time hits leader Andie Varsho, Purdue softball had 14 of its 18 players eligible for Academic All-Big Ten recognition make the list. Ashley Burkhardt, Tori Chiodo, Lilly Fecho, Danielle Fletcher and Varsho were All-Big Ten and NFCA All-Midwest Region performers on the field as well.
Adam Schenk, an All-Big Ten and All-Midwest Region honoree, was men's golf's top scorer this season, helping the Boilermakers qualify for the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2005. Women's golfer Aurora Kan, a First Team All-Big Ten performer, was an individual qualifier for the NCAA Central Region as the Boilers' top player.
Both Purdue tennis teams qualified for the NCAA Championships this year and each had four Academic All-Big Ten honorees among its rosters. Seniors Mark Kovacs (an All-Big Ten performer) and Szymon Tatarczyk led the way for the men, whom achieved their highest ranking in program history this year. Mara Schmidt was the women's No. 1 player for much of the season.
Dani Bunch is an 11-time medalist (all gold and silver) at Big Ten Championships meets. She won the Big Ten title in the women's weight throw during the indoor season and garnered All-America acclaim by finishing among the top five in both throwing events at the Indoor National Championships.
Like Bunch, Blair Doney (steeplechase), Caleb Fricke (discus), Matt McClintock (3,000 and 5,000 meters), Vanessa McLeod (800 meters), Kari Shoolbraid (800 meters) are also individual school record holders for the track and field teams.
Purdue's Spring 2014 Academic All-Big Ten honorees
Women's Golf (1)
Men's Track & Field (18)
Women's Track & Field (30)