Track honored by Big Ten conference

by Derek Wetmore

Days after securing their second straight indoor championship, the Gophers men’s indoor track & field team was honored with two accolades.  Senior thrower Aaron Studt was awarded Big Ten field event athlete of the championships after winning the Big Ten title in the shot put and weight throw. Head coach Steve Plasencia unofficially picked Studt for ‘athlete of the meet’ after last weekends competition.

Plasencia was also honored for his success this season, being named Big Ten Coach of the Year by his peers.  Plasencia also won the award for the 2009 indoor season and the 2009 outdoor season.

Any athlete crowned as a Big Ten champion in their event is automatically selected to the All-Big Ten First team.  Studt was selected after winning both of his events and was joined by a litany of teammates including: Ben Blankenship, who was selected for winning the mile; Harun Abda, 600 meters; R. J. McGinnis, heptathlon; and Ben Peterson, pole vault.

Big Ten championships runners-up are awarded All-Big Ten Second Team. Gophers selected include Matt Fisher (high jump), Jack Szmanda (heptathlon) and Logan Stroman (600 meters).

Gophers women’s track and field also earned conference honors when Alicia Rue was named Big The Field event Athlete of the Year. Rue, a senior pole vaulter won the 2010 Big Ten indoor title with a Conference Championships record of 14 feet, 3 1/2 inches. The title was her third consecutive indoor crown, and she will head to the NCAA Indoor Tack & Field Championships as the second seed in the nation. Rue earned 3 Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week awards throughout the indoor season and now has a career total of 12. As a Big Ten champion, Rue was selected to the All-Big Ten First Team.