Sixty-three Nittany Lions earn winter Academic All-Big Ten honors

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Representing seven winter sports, 63 Penn State student-athletes have been recognized with Academic All-Big Ten honors. Penn State’s 63 honorees brings the Nittany Lions’ all-time total to 3,915 during the 18 years of the conference academic program.

Penn State’s 63 honorees ranked second among the 12 Big Ten institutions.

Penn State’s academic all-conference award winners and their respective teams excelled both academically and athletically. Several student-athletes who were named Academic All-Big Ten honorees also earned recognition on the field.

A first team All-Big Ten selection by the conference media and an NABC All-District 7 second team honoree, men’s basketball’s Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) led the Big Ten in assists per game (6.2) and finished second in scoring (18.8) and steals (2.4) while leading the conference with 17 20-point games. The junior guard’s 198 assists on the year set the Penn State season record.

The men’s gymnastics team is currently ranked No. 1 after posting the nation’s highest team scores in each of the last two weeks of the 2012 regular season. Senior team captain Miguel Pineda (Galloway, Ohio), a 2011 All-American on still rings, won the 2012 Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award and Penn State’s Ernest B. McCoy Award and is a finalist for the Nissen-Emery Award. Junior Scott Rosenthal (Clearfield, Pa.) is ranked No. 1 in the nation in the still rings while junior Felix Aronovich (Kiryat Bialik, Israel), the reigning CGA National Gymnast of the Week, has qualified for the 2012 Olympics for his native Israel.

The men’s swimming & diving team recently returned from the 2012 NCAA Championships, putting together one of the best years in program history. The Nittany Lions earned 17th place with 54 points behind five All-Americans, including senior Scott Marino (Scotch Plains, N.J.) and sophomore Shane Austin (Kennett Square, Pa.).

In 2012, the Lady Lion basketball team posted a 26-7 record, won the program’s sixth Big Ten regular season title, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the 12th time in program history. Sophomore guard Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.), a consensus first team All-Big Ten selection and an honorable mention Associated Press All-American, ranked third in the Big Ten in scoring (19.6 ppg) and became the fourth player in program history to score 600 points in a season (642). Junior center Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) (third team) and junior forward Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) (honorable mention) also received All-Big Ten recognition.

The No. 13-ranked women’s gymnastics team was recently awarded the program’s 38th berth to the NCAA Regional Championships, receiving a No. 3 seed. At last week’s Big Ten Championships, junior Sharaya Musser (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was named the 2012 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year and earned first team All-Big Ten honors while junior Madison Merriam (Gaithersburg, Md.) received second team All-Big Ten accolades. Senior Natalie Ettl (Waukesha, Wis.) was a 2012 recipient of Penn State’s John W. Oswald Award.

Women’s swimmers sophomore Mackenzie Powers (Sycamore, Ill.), senior Katherine Pulos (Rosemont, Pa.), senior Erin Thomas (Bangor, Maine), who joined Pineda as a 2012 Ernest B. McCoy Award winner, and junior Paige Whitmire (Lederach, Pa.) earned first team All-Big Ten honors, helping the Nittany Lions to one of their best showings ever at the Big Ten Championships. The quartet, along with Merritt Krawczyk (Kingwood, Texas) and Chelsea Weedman (Poway, Calif.), qualified for and had a strong competition at the 2012 NCAA Championships.

The wrestling team continued to establish itself as a powerhouse program, as Penn State captured its second consecutive national championship in dominating fashion, outdistancing the runner-up by 25.5 points. Senior Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) (149 lbs.) and sophomore David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) (165 lbs.), put the finishing touches on undefeated seasons by winning national titles while junior Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) earned national runner-up honors at 184. Taylor was also awarded the 2012 Hodge Trophy, collegiate wrestling’s top honor.

The Big Ten recognized a total of 615 winter sports student-athletes. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Penn State student-athletes continue to graduate well above their peers nationwide, earning record-setting academic performances, according to statistical information released by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The NCAA’s annual study of institutions nationwide revealed that Penn State student-athletes at the University Park campus earned a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 88 percent compared to the 80 percent average for all Division I institutions for students entering from 2001-02 through 2004-05. The 88 percent figure was third to Northwestern (96) and Illinois (89) among Big Ten Conference institutions.

Listed below are Penn State’s 2012 winter Academic All-Big Ten honorees by sport.

Men’s Basketball
Sasa Borovnjak, Jr., Marketing
Tim Frazier, Jr., Supply Chain and Information Systems
Billy Oliver, Sr., Finance

Men’s Gymnastics
Felix Aronovich, Jr., Engineering Science
Matthew Chelberg, Jr., Civil Engineering
Mackenzie Dow, Jr., Biology
Adrian Evans, So., Division of Undergraduate Studies
Preston Gall, So., Division of Undergraduate Studies
Ingvar Jochumsson, So., Engineering
Miguel Pineda, Sr., Biology
Parker Raque, Jr., Marketing
Scott Rosenthal, Jr., Kinesiology
Logan Wyman, Sr., Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Warren Yang, Sr., Marketing

Men’s Swimming & Diving
Brian Alden, Sr., Finance
Shane Austin, So., Science
Alex Marchinski, Jr., Landscape Architecture
Scott Marino, Sr., Marketing
Matt Salig, So., Engineering
Andrew Sideras, So., Health & Human Development

Women’s Basketball
Ariel Edwards, So., Division of Undergraduate Programs
Nikki Greene, Jr., Integrative Arts
Maggie Lucas, So., Division of Undergraduate Programs
Mia Nickson, Sr., Communication Arts and Sciences
Gizelle Studevent, Jr., Crime, Law, & Justice

Women’s Gymnastics
Stephanie Brock, So., Division of Undergraduate Programs
Natalie Ettl, Sr., Kinesiology
Daryl Konsevick, Sr., Biobehavioral
Madison Merriam, Jr., Advertising & Public Relations
Lindsay Musgrove, So., Health & Human Development
Sharaya Musser, Jr. Kinesiology

Women’s Swimming & Diving
Alexa Hetzel, Sr., Kinesiology
Chelsea Howard, So., Communications
Ann Ragan Kearns, Jr., Advertising & Public Relations
Merritt Krawczyk, Jr., Biobehavioral Health
Amy Lewis, Jr., Nutritional Sciences
Amy Modglin, Jr., Education
Katie O’Connell, Jr., Biology
Mackenzie Powers, So., Health & Human Development
Katie Pulos, Sr., Elementary Education
Erika Rodman, So., Science
Kristen Rodman, Sr., Advertising & Public Relations
Gabi Shishkoff, So., Psychology
Claire Singley, So., Business
Rose Snyder, Sr., Elementary Education
Sarah Somers, So., Engineering
Megan Springsteen, So., Business
Erin Thomas, Sr., Meteorology
Chelsea Weedman, So., Health & Human Development
Paige Whitmire, Jr., Nutrition
Brynja Winnan, So., Health & Human Development
Emily Wolfarth, Sr., Advertising & Public Relations

Andrew Church, Jr., Mechanical Engineering
James English, Sr., Chemical Engineering
Nick Fischer, Sr., Mechanical Engineering
Cameron Kelly, So., Kinesiology
Frank Molinaro, Sr., Crime, Law, & Justice
Kyle Moran, So., Division of Undergraduate Studies
Nate Morgan, So., Health & Human Development
Clay Steadman, Sr., Finance
David Taylor, Jr., Recreation, Park and Tourism Management
Cameron Wade, Sr., Finance
Quentin Wright, Sr., Management

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